Published November 06, 2012
Governor race remains tightBRAD SHANNON; Staff writer
Republican Rob McKenna led Democrat Jay Inslee after the first batch of votes were counted in the Washington governor's race. tonight. Cheers went up at the Hyatt Regency in Bellevue where state Republicans are watching returns, but the result quickly shifted to Inslee's favor.Republican Secretary of State Sam Reed says it may be a few days until a clear winner is declared. "If the race is as close as the polls and continues to be close, it could be Friday," Reed told reporters in a crowded ballroom. With about 1.48 million votes counted in a race that likely will draw more than 3 million voters, Inslee had 767,871 votes or 51.9 percent to McKenna's 712,463 votes or 48.1 percent. The numbers could go back and forth during the evening as new results are added.Vote-rich King County still has hundreds of thousands of votes to count, but Inslee dominated in Seattle and its suburbs in the August primary and is expected to do very well there again. So far tonight he's up by 141,417 votes in King.But, McKenna is running stronger in most of the other counties that have reported results - including Pierce County and many eastern Washington counties.McKenna is working to break a 28-year Democratic stranglehold on the Governors Office. Washington is one of a handful of states where national Republicans hope to expand their majority of governorships from 29 to as many as 33.