WA State Supreme Court, legislative races remain tight
Turner; The News Tribune
Washington State - 11/13/02 - The race for a seat on the Washington
State Supreme Court tightened considerably Tuesday when a count of
absentee ballots cut the lead of Olympia lawyer Jim Johnson to a mere
Johnson led his opponent, assistant state attorney general Mary Fairhurst,
by 9,900 votes on the morning after the Nov. 5 election.
About half the state's counties reported more election returns on
Tuesday, but King County has an estimated 100,000 to 135,000 ballots
still to be counted. So that and other races could change even more
by the time counties close out their election books on Nov. 20.
Meanwhile, control of the state Senate remains in limbo.
Additional ballots from Pierce County trimmed the lead held by incumbent
Sen. Bob Oke (R-Port Orchard) to only 150 votes over Democratic challenger
Betty Ringlee. Oke leads 19,113 to 18,963.
Pierce County has fewer than 2,000 ballots left to be counted and
will make its next report on Friday. Kitsap County, which has about
half of the 26th District, will update its tally today. Kitsap has
about 10,000 ballots uncounted countywide.
If Democrats can knock off Oke, they would retain their 25-24 majority.
If they can't, control would shift to Republicans.
Several House races got tighter with Tuesday's report. It still appears
Democrats will add two seats to their 50-48 majority - and perhaps
a third seat.
Democrat Dawn Morrell is ahead of incumbent Rep. Dave Morell (R-Puyallup)
by 17,524 to 17,038 in the Puyallup area's 25th District.
Democrat Pat Sullivan, Covington's mayor, now has a 34-vote lead over
Republican incumbent Rep. Jack Cairnes - 9,903 to 9,869. Some 40 percent
of the ballots in that race are still outstanding.
Republican Lois McMahan, a former legislator from Olalla, leads Democratic
Rep. Brock Jackley of Manchester 19,161 to 18,652 in the 26th District
race to represent the Gig Harbor and Kitsap peninsulas.
If Democrats unseat Cairnes, they would outnumber Republicans 53-45.
But Cairnes made a comeback with absentee voters two years ago.