Candidate Forum: 32nd District Pos. 2 candidates introduce themselves

Friday, June 26, 2020

(Editor’s note: This is part of a series of responses to questions we’re sending to candidates running in the Aug. 4 primary election. We will present responses to our questions from candidates for state representative positions in the 32nd and 46th legislative districts. After these introductory questions, we’ll have issue questions for all candidates, with future questions coming from readers. Send questions for the candidates to

Smilanich, Petersen, Davis

By Evan Smith

Democrat Gray Petersen and non-partisan candidate Tamra Smilanich are challenging incumbent 32nd Legislative District Democratic State Rep. Lauren Davis in the Aug. 4 primary election.

The top two candidates in the primary qualify for the Nov. 3 general election.

No Republicans have filed for a place on 32nd District ballots.

The 32nd Legislative District includes Shoreline, part of northwest Seattle, Woodway and nearby unincorporated areas of southwest Snohomish County, south Edmonds, Lynnwood and a small part of Mountlake Terrace.

The three candidates recently sent responses to the question: “What is your background for this position?”

Here are the responses from Peterson, Smilanich and Davis, presented in the order their names will appear on the ballot and in the voters’ pamphlet:

Legislative District 32, State Representative Pos. 2

Gray Petersen (Prefers Democratic Party)

I’ve resided in Lynnwood for 13 years, in Washington for nearly 20. I’ve been an activist both inside of the Democratic Party, and outside of it in activism on the Green New Deal, Medicare for All, and for Housing for All. Before I was involved in those movements, I was involved in LGBTQIA+ rights movements. I’ve worked as customer support representative, and now I’m a working-class essential worker as a career in the telecommunications industry.

Tamra Smilanich (Prefers Non Partisan Party)

Ms. Smilanich has a background in working in the public, private and non-profit sectors. Serving clients in various capacities, Ms. Smilanich has worked with diverse groups of people, which includes individuals with disabilities, cultural/ethnic backgrounds, criminal and substance-abuse backgrounds and international business owners and our active duty military personnel. Some of the more recent milestones include Ms. Smilanich's contract work in local public and private schools and her full time practice in negotiating housing contracts.

Lauren Davis (Prefers Democratic Party)

In my first term as State Representative, I passed nine bills across four areas: health care, mental health, criminal legal system reform and protections for domestic violence survivors. In my career, I have taught Head Start preschool, researched education policy as a Fulbright Scholar in West Africa, worked in international development at the Gates Foundation, directed school-based mental health and suicide prevention programs, and run a behavioral health nonprofit.

Evan Smith can be reached at


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