Democratic Senate contender Emily Randall gained a little bit of breathing room today in her bid to become the next State Senator in Washington State’s 26th Legislative District, widening her lead over rival Marty McClendon — a Republican — to eighty-eight votes. That might not sound like much, but yesterday, the gap between the two was only twelve votes, so this is a significant bump.
Randall led during the first few days of counting before suddenly giving up the lead to McClendon on Friday, November 9th. This week, she rebounded.
On Tuesday, she erased most of the lead McClendon had taken with Friday’s drop, which was lopsided in his favor. Yesterday, she overcame McClendon’s lead entirely and took a tiny lead of her own. And today she has maintained her ;ead and gained a little breathing room. It’s still an extremely close race, no question about that, but from Randall’s perspective, it’s better to be out front than trailing.
With today’s updated returns in, Randall has 34,606 votes, or 50.06%, and McClendon has 34,518 votes, or 49.94%. As before, Randall is winning the Kitsap County portion of the district and McClendon is winning the Pierce County portion.
Incredibly, Randall and McClendon’s race in the 26th Legislative District, as tight as it is, is no longer the closest Senate race in the state.
At least for until tomorrow, that honor belongs to the 42nd Legislative District, where only fifty-eight votes separate entrenched Republican incumbent Doug Ericksen (one of the co-chairs of Trump’s 2016 campaign in Washington State) from his Democratic challenger Pinky Vargas, a Bellingham City Councilmember.
Whatcom County did not update its returns in that race today and no further update is planned until November 26th, the Monday after Thanksgiving.
Kitsap and Pierce counties both plan to release updated returns tomorrow afternoon, so the numbers in the 26th are bound to change again.
Neither county reports having many ballots left to process. In Kitsap, an estimated five hundred are left, while in Pierce, there are fifteen hundred. Those totals include ballots from neighborhoods within each county that aren’t in the 26th.
We will keep you posted on developments.