NCW — State Rep. Alex Ybarra was winning the 13th Legislative District race Tuesday night.
The Quincy Republican had 10,655 votes (75.66%) to Ellensburg Democrat Steve Verhey's 3,386 votes (24.04%). The district includes Lincoln, Kittitas and parts of Grant and Yakima counties.
This special election comes after county commissioners from the district appointed Ybarra in January as a replacement for former state Rep. Matt Manweller.
Manweller, facing sexual misconduct allegations, had announced his intention of resigning if re-elected. However, voters last year chose the Ellensburg Republican anyway.
Ybarra, 58, said during his campaign that he wanted to focus on energy and affordable housing. Agriculture, water, education and internet were also among the issues he said he heard from people throughout the district.
It was Ybarra's first time running for election with an opponent. He said he didn't sleep well Monday night and was nervous all day Tuesday, working out for an hour at lunchtime and another after work to destress.
"I couldn't believe how much positive support I've gotten from our whole district, from Snoqualmie Pass to Airway Heights," he said. "It's been wonderful."
Verhey, 61, is chair of the Kittitas County Democrats. He said during his campaign that raising awareness about issues was more important to him than winning.
"I have enjoyed getting to know Mr. Ybarra, and I know he will work to make taxes more fair and to address climate change — the two most important issues in this election," he said in an emailed statement.