State Senate race down to the wire

The race for state senator in the 41st District has narrowed significantly. The lead enjoyed earlier by Republican Steve Litzow, of Mercer Island, fell again Monday evening to just 299 votes. The incumbent, Randy Gordon a Democrat of Bellevue, appointed to the post in January, has gained more votes at each count.

As of 4:30 p.m. Monday 57,500 votes had been counted in the race. According to County Elections communications specialist Katie Gilliam, about five percent of the votes cast remained to be counted as of Tuesday at Reporter press time.

With the vote so close, King County Republicans began over the weekend to organize an effort to help validate voter signatures. An e-mail by King County Republican Chair Lori Sotelo was sent to gather volunteers for the final voter tabulation.

“We have entered into the critical phase of ballot rehab,” she wrote. “This is where we take the list of ballots that have been rejected by King County Elections due to signature issues and identify friendly voters and then collect signed affidavits to ensure that each of those votes count.”

Democrats are also expected to scrutinize the counting process.

With the first results, Litzow held a comfortable 53-47 percent margin, but it has been shrinking ever since. Currently, the race is near position for a recount, which requires the margin between two candidates to be less than 2,000 votes or .5 percent of the total votes cast in the race. With the number of votes cast thus far, .5 percent is just under 300 votes.

There were also 85 write-ins votes in the Senate seat race.

Candidates for the state house in the 41st District raised impressive amounts of money for their campaigns. According to the Washington Secretary of State’s Public Disclosure Office, Litzow had collected $392,000, over 30 percent more than his opponent. Gordon collected $268,000.

In the race for 41st District seat in the State House of Representatives (Pos. 1), the candidates raised a total of $449,000 — each bringing in nearly the same amount. Challenger Peter Dunbar a Republican of Mercer Island raised $219,000 of while incumbent Marcie Maxwell of Renton, a Democrat, had $230,000 in funds. As of Monday evening, Maxwell lead Dunbar by 4,600 votes. There were 51 write-ins.

State Rep. Judy Clibborn (Pos. 2) a Democrat took 60 percent of the vote over Republican challenger Stephen Strader. There were 83 write-ins.

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