Peter Goldmark holding slim lead in Lands Commissioner contest
As of a few minutes ago (5:05 PM) Goldmark had 50.70% of the vote, to Sutherland's 49.30%. Besides King, Goldmark is winning San Juan, Snohomish, Jefferson, Cowlitz, Whatcom, and Okanogan counties. Sutherland is winning everywhere else. However, Sutherland's edge in a number of swing counties is itself slim. The candidates are nearly even in Kitsap, Spokane, and Clark counties.
If we had to guess who the winner might be right now, we'd project a victory for Peter Goldmark, who can rely on King County to neutralize Sutherland's margin of victory elsewhere, assuming he doesn't slip too much in Snohomish County.
If you take a look at the map below you can see that the majority of registered Washington State voters (fifty one percent to be exact) live in the three Central Sound counties of King, Pierce, and Snohomish.
Democratic candidates who dominate in King and do a decent job of competing in other swing counties like Spokane (as Peter Goldmark has done) can sustain a loss of one of the other two Central Sound counties, but usually not both.
It's not very surprising that Goldmark is losing Pierce, because Sutherland has name familiarity there (he was once county executive). So long as Goldmark stays ahead in Snohomish, he should be able to offset Sutherland's large margins in rural counties with his big tally in King.