Incumbent finishing 3rd following allegations

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A Washington state representative who resigned his chairmanship following allegations of inappropriate conduct was finishing in third place in early primary returns.

Democratic Rep. David Sawyer on Tuesday trailed Melanie Morgan, a Democrat and a local school board member, and Republican Terry Harder. Under Washington’s primary system, the top two vote getters advance to November, regardless of party.

Sawyer represents a district that includes parts of Tacoma.

In June, Sawyer resigned as the chairman of the House Commerce and Gaming Committee a day after an outside investigation that he violated the chamber’s policies on harassment, decorum and ethics.

The investigation found Sawyer sent a House employee multiple “inappropriate and offensive” text messages over a period of three months. It also found he made comments and jokes about another House employee’s sexual orientation, and used employees’ time to discuss a newspaper’s investigation into sexual harassment allegations against him.

Sawyer apologized and said in an email at the time that it was “clear that I messed up and that it’s time for me to acknowledge some personal mistakes.”