SEATTLE – Early returns show state Supreme Court Justice Richard Sanders in a tight re-election fight with Bainbridge Island attorney Charlie Wiggins.
Sanders had a lead of 50.85 percent to 49.15 percent with a little more than 1 million votes counted. The Secretary of State's Office has projected that 2.4 million voters cast ballots.
The libertarian Sanders has come under fire recently for insisting that racial bias plays no significant role in the criminal justice system. He said certain minority groups are "disproportionally represented in prison because they have a crime problem."
Wiggins was leading in King County, the state's most populous, while Sanders had big leads in Eastern Washington as well as Snohomish and Pierce counties.