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Woods fells Ducheane in race for 23rd district

POULSBO — Beverly Woods and Terry Ducheane stood far apart on most issues this election season.

But they did agree this week on one thing — that Nov. 2 was bigger than their race for the 23rd District State Representative, Position 2 seat.

Preliminary vote counts from Tuesday’s election show incumbent Woods (R-Poulsbo) nudging out Ducheane (D-Tracyton) by a margin of about 57 percent to 43 percent.

But Woods, who has served in the position since 1999, admitted a bittersweet victory because of Republican showings across the state. The race for governor is still too close to call, although Woods said she hoped for Dino Rossi. A handful of races for House and Senate seats were also up in the air but Woods predicted that the majority in both were likely to tip toward the Democrats.

“We worked on these campaigns all over the state and it’s disheartening to see these ones losing by such small margins,” she commented. “Bush didn’t carry Washington so it made it harder on the local races. But we’re going to do what we always do, which is push for what we feel is best for Washington and we’re going to reach across the aisle to those who would do the same.”

Ducheane said he was disappointed but not shocked by his loss to Woods. He was, however, happy with the percentage of votes he carried. Ducheane was defeated by Woods for the same position in 2002 and received 11 percent of the vote. He said he plans to run again and hopes to reach the 50 percent mark next time.

“I concentrated far more time on speaking with more people in groups,” Ducheane said of what he thought gained him more votes this year. “People want to hear what can we fix and what we’re going to do, not the typical smoke and mirrors.”

But he, too, said that his real concern was not with the 23rd District race but the outcomes of the presidential and gubernatorial races.

“I’m concerned about the nation and the state and I think some of the things that happened are not going to be good in the long run,” Ducheane said. “I’m not optimistic that business as usual will change.”

Meanwhile, Woods doesn’t have any time to rest up after the campaign. Her schedule has her in Olympia starting next week. As chair of her caucus, one of her first activities will be deciding what position to run for in the caucus reorganization Nov. 18. Committee hearings then start in December and the full session kicks off in January 2005.

Woods said she’s hoping the legislature will get a jump on health care issues and tort reform right out of the gates. On a more local note, she was already working on improving ferry service Wednesday morning. Woods said she intends to once again introduce legislation to increase the runs on the Bremerton to Seattle ferry and hopes to mediate a meeting with all parties regarding restoring food service before the end of the year.

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