It appears that Joe Fain may soon be relieved of his responsibilities as a Washington State Senator representing the 47th District. Updated returns published by King County Elections this afternoon show Fain now losing to his Democratic challenger, small business owner Mona Das, by a margin of two hundred and six votes.
On Election Night, Fain led by two hundred and seventy-four votes. In yesterday’s count, he led by only ninety. Now his lead is gone entirely. If the current trend continues through the rest of the count, he will lose to Mona Das.
This is a huge breakthrough for the Washington State Democratic Party, which had hoped to pick up several Senate seats in these midterms.
Prior to this afternoon, only two Democratic Senate challengers had leads over Republican incumbents (Claire Wilson and Emily Randall). Now, three do.
Fain is one of the top Republicans in the Washington State Senate. A member of Mark Schoesler’s leadership team, he holds the post of Minority Floor Leader, and is thus a frequent fixture on TVW when the Legislature is in session.
Prior to his legislative service, Fain worked for King County Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer. It was during those years that Candace Faber alleges that Fain raped her. Fain has denied the allegation without even bothering to refute or discuss the substantial volume of information Faber has produced explaining what happened.
Fain was also, prior to this afternoon, one of the few Republicans still hanging on anywhere in King County. But now it looks like he’s a goner.
A victory for Das — the daughter of Indian immigrants — would make King County’s statehouse delegation more diverse. The 47th was once represented in the Washington State Senate by Claudia Kauffman, the first Native American woman ever to be elected to the Legislature, but Fain defeated her eight years ago.
Now his own bid for reelection looks like it could fail — to a woman of color.