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State and Local Races Too Close to Call

Incumbents Patty Murray and Dave Reichert stake out narrow leads; State Sens. Rodney Tom and Randy Gordon trail opponents by a handful of votes.

With approximately 55 percent of state voters and 52 percent of King County votes tallied as of 8:15 p.m. on Election Day, several national, local and initiative races still remain too close to call.

In the hotly contested U.S. Senate race, incumbent Sen. Patty Murray is barely leading challenger Dino Rossi, 51-49 percent—or about 17,000 votes. For the U.S. House District 8 seat, incumbent Rep. Dave Reichert has a small lead over challenger Suzan DelBene, 54-46 percent.

In the 41st District legislative races, incumbent Sen. Randy Gordon, who represents Mercer Island and Bellevue, is trailing Mercer Island City Councilman
Steve Litzow, 47-53. In the state house, 41st District, Rep. Marcie Maxwell narrowly leads Mercer Island doctor Peter Dunbar 51-49, while Rep. Judy Clibborn is leading Mercer Island businessman Steven Strader, 57-43.

In the 48th District legislative races, incumbent Sen. Rodney Tom, who represents Bellevue and Kirkland, is trailing Gregg Bennett by less than one percent—a difference of 133 votes. In the state house, 48th District, Rep. Ross Hunter narrowly leads Diane Tebelius, 51-49, while Rep. Deb Eddy is leading Philip L. Wilson, 54-46.

A number of statewide measures are getting a mixed reception.

Initiative 1053, which would force the legislature to pass new taxes and fees by a 2/3 vote, is passing by a wide margin statewide, 65-35, while Initiative 1098, proposing an income tax on high-income earners is losing by the same margin.

Meanwhile, a workers compensation deregulation under measure Initiative 1082 is losing 58-42.

Liquor deregulation Initiative 1100 is losing narrowly, 51-48, but an alternative measure, Initiative 1105—that would have kept the system of distributors in place—is losing, 63-37 percent.

Initiative 1107 would repeal a tax on soda and candy imposed by the legislature and is passing by a wide margin statewide, 63-37.

R-52, which would allow the state to fund energy efficient school construction projects is losing 43-57 statewide.

King County differs with the rest of the state on three of the measures: voters here narrowly support I-1100 and R-52 and evenly divided on I-1107.

Two amendments to the constitution are also on the ballot, but are getting a vastly different reception. A vote on relaxing restrictions on bonded debt is barely passing, 51-49, but a measure on making it harder for judges to allow bail in violent crime cases is passing easily, 86-14.

In contested Judicial races, State Supreme Court Judge Richard B. Sanders is leading Bainbridge Island lawyer Charlie Wiggins, 51-49.

Officials say the next round of counting, which will reflect about 45,000 additional ballots. will be tallied tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. and will include votes from polling stations and accessible voting centers.


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