Incumbent state legislator finishing 3rd in primary election votes 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, D-Tacoma, 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 the 29th Legislative District, which 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."