Tacoma lawyer Steve O’Ban and University Place City Councilman Eric Choiniere appear likely to face off in November for an open seat that is one of Republicans’ best hopes for cutting into Democrats’ 56-42 House majority.
It’s in the 28th Legislative District, which encircles Joint Base Lewis-McChord and runs as far north as the east side of the Tacoma Narrows bridge.
O’Ban and Choiniere are leading for the seat left open by Rep. Troy Kelley’s decision to run for state auditor. Trailing is Ken Campbell, a University Place real estate agent and Republican who has not been raising money.
In another House race with lopsided spending, voters in the 28th district are so far picking Paul Wagemann to advance over fellow Lakewood Republican Malcolm Russell, a Pierce County Planning Commission member.
Wagemann and Russell are vying for the right to take on Rep. Tami Green, a Democrat who leads both her challengers in early returns with 52 percent.
It would be a rematch of 2010, when Wagemann, a consultant and Clover Park School Board member, lost to Green, a nurse.