Mahaffay moves onto 23rd general election

Republican Frank Mahaffay will represent his party in the general election for Washington’s 23rd District Representative Seat, Pos. 1, garnering a strong majority of votes in Tuesday’s primary election.

The Bremerton resident defeated Kingston Republican Paulette DeGard by a 61-39 percent margin and will face Democrat Sherry Appleton for the seat Nov. 2.

“It feels good,” Mahaffay said of the results. “I got up early Wednesday morning and started working hard again. I’ve got an election to win.”

Mahaffay garnered 4,338 votes — roughly 61 percent — to DeGard’s 2,770 votes for 39 percent. Results tallied by the Kitsap County Auditor’s Office are still unofficial until they are certified next week.

Poulsbo resident Appleton ran in the primary uncontested to advance to the general election. The two candidates will meet as a result of Washington’s new primary system, in which each party must be represented in the Nov. 2 election — rather than just the top two vote getters in the primary as in years past.

The vote will decide who will succeed Phil Rockefeller (D-Bainbridge Island), who vacated the seat in favor of running for the 23rd District Senate slot.

Mahaffay commented that as far as his political message is concerned, he’ll stay the course.

“We’re just going to continue to get the message out,” Mahaffay said, stating his top concerns are still the establishment of tort reform and comprehensive performance audits of government agencies.

Mahaffay added that he likes his chances though he acknowledges he will be facing a fierce battle ahead.

“I look forward to a positive, issue-related campaign,” he said. “It’s going to be a very tough race.”

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