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Buck concedes; Van De Wege looks toward future

Peninsula Daily News

Port Angeles, WA - The votes haven't all been counted, but the writing is on the wall.

A day after the first ballot count showed state Rep. Jim Buck, R-Joyce, trailing behind Sequim Democrat Kevin Van De Wege by about 10 percentage points, Buck said he will concede the election.

The general election ended Tuesday.

The next step is a vacation in Hawaii for Buck, 58, a West Point graduate and civil engineer.

He had been seeking a seventh term in the state House of Representatives.

His wife, Donna Kay Buck, is the chairwoman of the Clallam County Republican Party, and deserved a break after a bitter and expensive campaign, he said.

``She worked really, really hard,'' he said Wednesday.

``It was a good run,'' he said of his 12 years in the Legislature.

Van De Wege, 32, a Sequim firefighter/paramedic, spent Wednesday morning pulling down campaign signs.

He acknowledged that while it was theoretically possible uncounted ballots could tip the election to Buck, he admitted that he was optimistic.

``We're pretty confident,'' he said.



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