Democrat Dean Takko of Longview held off a challenge from newcomer Susan Kuehl Pederson in the 19th District State Senate race, retaining the seat he was appointed to in 2015 when it was vacated by fellow Democrat Brian Hatfield. The 19th has a history of Democrats holding the Senate seat; in the past 20 years, whomever has held that seat was initially appointed to it by their party before retaining it in subsequent elections.
Takko outpolled Kuehl Pederson 20,262-15,307, for 57 percent of the vote. The numbers by county show the challenger taking Lewis with more than 60 percent of the vote, but Takko winning in every other county: Grays Harbor (4,812 to 3,831), Pacific (4,984 to 3,541), Wahkiakum (1,120 to 845) and Cowlitz (8,838 to 6,315), nearing 60 percent of the vote in each of those counties.
Republican challenger Kuehl Pederson, of Aberdeen, in her first run at political office, ran a campaign she funded almost exclusively on her own. Takko far outdid his opponent’s fundraising efforts, with contributions from the likes of the NRA, the Washington Cannabusiness Association, and strong support from area Indian tribes and timber and health care interests.