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Counties will no longer be required to hold partisan primary elections when only one candidate and position is on the ballot, following action today by Gov. Jay Inslee on a bill prime-sponsored by 12th District State Rep. Brad Hawkins. At the state Capitol in Olympia today, the governor signed House Bill 2106. The measure will relieve county election offices of the requirement to hold a primary election when only one candidate for a position has filed to fill an unexpired term for partisan county offices.
Hawkins said the bill corrects an unintended result of legislation passed last year that required primary elections for any partisan race.
“Last year, Chelan County held a countywide primary election for an unopposed position. There was only one candidate and one position on the entire ballot. It was an expensive election,” said Hawkins, R-East Wenatchee. “My bill will save counties thousands of dollars in processing future primary elections.”
The bill passed the House on Jan. 27 with a vote of 81-10. It was approved in the Senate on March 4, 48-1. It has the support of Chelan County Auditor Skip Moore and Chelan County Commissioner Doug England, both of whom traveled to the state Capitol Feb. 20 to testify for the measure.
“This legislation was one of my highest priorities during this short session and involved months of work that began last summer,” said Hawkins. “I’m very pleased that we’ve been able to move this bill forward in a short session and get it signed into law.”