The Secretary of State's Office and King County Elections will be counting ballots through Veteran's Day and into the weekend, but the additional votes that dropped this afternoon shifted a few of the key races we’re tracking here at the Stranger’s Elections HQ. According to a spokesperson for King County Elections, roughly 300,000 ballots still need to be counted after the County released today's drop of about 73,400 more votes.
In the top of the ticket race for US Senate, MAGA Republican Senate candidate Tiffany Smiley conceded earlier this morning. But there are still plenty of down-ballot races for the State Legislature in swing districts that haven't been decided, and a few could come down to just a handful of votes if current trends continue.
And of course, we’ve got a whole slate of successful Stranger-endorsed candidates in King County to check up on. [Spoiler alert: all but one are still winning. Eat your heart out, Seattle Times Editorial Board].
Before we run through the latest numbers, a quick public service announcement. King County Elections spokesperson Halei Watkins said in an email that there are 13,480 voters who need to address an issue with their signatures. You can find out the status of your ballot here, and the system should point you to the correct form to fill out to fix the issue if necessary.
Now, the numbers! In the 8th Congressional District, which covers eastern King County and parts of central Washington, incumbent Democrat Kim Schrier’s base of suburban Eastside Democrats continue to hold the line for her against Republican Matt Larkin. She's maintained her 5 percentage point lead from election night after the latest batch of ballots from King failed to improve Larkin's chances of a comeback.
Only a handful of new votes for the 3rd Congressional District contest in southwest Washington have come in at the time of publication, but more results will be released later this evening. Check back tomorrow morning in Slog AM for an update on Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez's chances of holding off Washington's most prominent election-denier, Republican Joe Kent.
The Secretary of State race remains close, as incumbent Democrat Steve Hobbs remains just a hair under 50% of the vote. Thankfully, the state GOP fumbled the bag on generating much support for write-in election-denier candidate Brad Klippert. Despite his pathetic showing of just 3.64% thus far, Klippert pulled enough votes away from the other non-Democrat in the race, nonpartisan candidate Julie Anderson, to give Hobbs the lead. Anderson is clocking in at 46.76% of the vote at the time of publication.
Taking a tour around the swing district contests for the State Legislature doesn’t reveal much else to write home about for Washington state's GOP.
In the 26th district covering Gig Harbor and Bremerton, incumbent Democrat Emily Randall remains ahead of Jesse Young by 1,952 votes after leading on election night by 5 percentage points. Although the race has tightened, Randall remaining ahead is excellent news for Kitsap County residents who don’t want a manchild who refuses to go to anger management training as their Senator. The race for Young’s vacated seat in the state House also remains close, with Democrat Adison Richards ahead of Republican Spencer Hutchins by just 260 votes.
All three state legislative contests up in Whatcom County’s 42nd district remain close, although the Dems seem to be clinging to narrow leads from election night. Democrat Sharon Shewmake leads Republican Simon Sefzik by 947 votes in the district's Senate race after today’s drop. In the two contested House races, Democrats Rep. Alicia Rule and Joe Timmons also lead their GOP opponents by nearly identical margins. Rule is up 2,514 votes over Republican Tawsha (Dykstra) Thompson, while Timmons currently holds a similar 3 percentage point lead over Republican Dan Johnson.
Zooming in on King County, our slate of endorsed candidates must be getting tired from all this winning. The once-and-future Democratic Senator Claudia Kauffman is edging out Republican Bill Boyce in Kent’s 47th district state Senate race as she's held onto her roughly 5 percentage point lead after the latest drop. The lone exception to our extremely successful slate is House candidate Shukri Olow, who now trails fellow Democrat Chris Stearns by more than 10,000 votes. Tough outcome for Olow, who did the entire state a service by edging out all three GOP challengers for this seat in the primary and caused Minority Leader J.T. Wilcox to throw himself and the dozen remaining “reasonable” Republicans a little pity party.
More good news for rent-burdened Seattleites in this afternoon’s drop. In northeast Seattle’s 46th district, Stranger-endorsed candidate and staunch advocate for “missing middle” housing Darya Farivar continues dominating the Seattle Times’s favored candidate, Lelach Rave, by 5,297 votes. Down in the South End, the SECB’s favorite (and only) pro-density landlord Chipalo Street has maintained his election night lead over community organizer Emijah Smith with 3,262 votes now separating the two excellent candidates.
And last, but certainly not least, the nonpartisan races for positions in our county’s and city’s criminal legal system continue to bring good news for people who want data-driven solutions to reducing crime.
Stranger-endorsed candidate for King County Prosecutor Leesa Manion continues growing her sizable lead over Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell, with 61,351 votes separating the decent cop from the bad cop after the latest batch of ballots was counted. In Seattle, public defender Pooja Vaddadi has also kept her election night lead intact, now leading Seattle Municipal Court judge Adam Eisenberg with a 57.83% to 41.72% gap making a comeback extremely unlikely.