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WASHINGTON STATE LEGISLATURE 

The region's options for state government

Senate, 3rd District

Andy Billig vs. James Apker

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Republican-minded Libertarian James Apker is challenging Democrat Andy Billig for his seat in the state Senate. Apker owns a small residential construction business and has never held public office. He believes in small government — fewer restrictions on business and fewer taxes. Billig, first elected in 2012, has been supportive of funding public education in Washington, and sponsored a bill to bring more transparency to campaign finance. (MITCH RYALS)

House, 3rd District

Marcus Riccelli vs. Randy McGlenn II

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You can say this about Libertarian Randy McGlenn: His campaign seems to have improved since the previous time he ran for the state House. That may be due to a lack of competition. In 2014, McGlenn didn't make it out of the primary, receiving 8 percent of the vote. As Riccelli's only challenger this year, McGlenn still took less than 29 percent of the vote in the primary. In a strong Democratic district, Riccelli will be tough to beat in the general election. He sponsored legislation to secure the state's second medical school on the WSU Spokane campus and helped achieve a transportation funding package for Eastern Washington. (WILSON CRISCIONE)

House, 3rd District

Timm Ormsby vs. Laura Carder

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Laura Carder moved to Spokane from Southern California more than a decade ago. Since then, she has run unsuccessfully for the Spokane School Board once and state representative twice. She knows she's a long shot to beat longtime Democratic incumbent Timm Ormsby, but she's going to try anyway because, as she told the Spokesman-Review, "he's been there long enough." Ormsby is chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and a member of the House Labor & Workplace Standards Committee. This past legislative session, he wrote and helped to pass bills to try to bring more jobs to Spokane and protect the environment. (WILSON CRISCIONE)

House, 6th District

Mike Volz vs. Lynnette Vehrs

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After popular 6th District Rep. Kevin Parker surprised the local political world by deciding to resign his seat in the House, he left a vacancy. But instead of the replacement Parker endorsed — young Cathy McMorris Rodgers press secretary Ian Field — voters picked Spokane County Chief Deputy Treasurer Mike Volz as the Republican to face off against the Democrat, retired nurse Lynnette Vehrs, chair of the Legislative and Health Policy Council of the Washington State Nurses Association.

Their views largely match their parties. Vehrs, who concentrates on health care issues, supports single-payer health care, minimum wage increases and is open to higher taxes for better services. Volz, who dives into wonky budget talk about regulatory agencies, would prefer to cut taxes further. Unlike 6th District Republican Sen. Michael Baumgartner, but like most other local Republicans, he says he wouldn't have supported last year's gas tax hike to pay for the transportation package that will fund the North Spokane Corridor. (DANIEL WALTERS)

House, 6th District

Jeff Holy vs. Shar Lichty

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Social justice activist and one-time Spokane mayoral candidate Shar Lichty, a Democrat, is challenging Republican Rep. Jeff Holy for his seat in the state House. The 6th District covers western Spokane, the West Plains and Cheney. Lichty, an organizer with the Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane, says her top priorities are funding public K-12 education and social services. Holy, an attorney and former detective with the Spokane Police Department, has served as a state representative since 2013. His goals are improving public safety and creating a business-friendly environment. He also has voted in favor of funding for charter schools. (MITCH RYALS)

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