The race to replace state Rep. Chris Hurst, D-Enumclaw, is becoming one of the most crowded state legislative contests of the year.
Five candidates are vying for Hurst’s seat after the seven-term representative said last month he won’t seek re-election.
On the Republican side, Morgan Irwin, an Enumclaw City Council member, and Christopher Leyba, a King County Sheriff’s deputy, recently announced they will seek the open seat.
Meanwhile, Democrat Lane Walthers also is looking to replace Hurst.
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The three newcomers join a candidate pool that already included Republican Pablo Monroy, a brewery owner from Bonney Lake, and Republican Phil Fortunato, a former lawmaker who lost to Hurst two years ago.
A primary election on Aug. 2 will whittle down the pool of candidates. Only two of them will advance to the Nov. 8 general election.
The candidates are looking to represent the 31st Legislative District, which includes includes Auburn, Edgewood, Sumner, Lake Tapps, Bonney Lake, Enumclaw, Buckley, South Prairie, Wilkeson and Carbonado.
In the same district, incumbent state Rep. Drew Stokesbary, R-Auburn, faces a challenge from Libertarian candidate John Frostad.
More candidates may announce next week, the official period when candidates must file paperwork with state and local election offices.
Candidate filing week starts Monday and ends May 20.