The national headlines this morning are that the Republicans gained at least 8 seats in the United States Senate, 12 seats in the United States House of Representatives, and three Governor’s seats last night.
Six legislative chambers also were taken over by the GOP, leaving the national balance of power in state legislative houses at 98 to 65 in favor of Republicans. This represents the strongest Republican position at the state level since before the Great Depression.
The results in Washington State were not quite as sweeping as the national picture, but they were still significant for Republicans.
While the Washington State Senate has been governed by a bi-partisan Majority Coalition for the last two years, the Washington State Senate will now have an elected majority of Republicans.
Republican Mark Miloscia defeated Shari Song in the 30th legislative district in Federal Way to give the Republicans a 25th vote in the Senate. The Majority Coalition is still expected to have a 26-23 vote edge as Democrat Tom Sheldon also won re-election and is expected to continue caucusing with the Republicans.
The partnership between Gov. Jay Inslee and his California billionaire friend, Tom Steyer, to unseat Republican Senators appears to have failed. Steyer’s top targets, Senator’s Andy Hill (Redmond), Steve O’Ban (Lakewood), and Doug Erickson (Ferndale), all appear to have survived their well-funded challenges.
In the State House of Representatives, Democrats entered the evening with a 55-43 Majority, but Republicans appear to have gained at least two seats and are effectively tied in three other races for seats currently held by Democrats.
The Republicans do not appear to be at risk of losing any seats they currently hold.
These are the closest races to watch in the State House of Representatives:
Close Races Republicans are Leading in the House
- Republican Lynda Wilson leads incumbent Democrat Monica Stonier 51-49% (525 votes) in the 17th (Vancouver).
- Republican Melanie Stambaugh is leading Democrat incumbent Dawn Morrell 53% to 47%, or 1,353 votes in the 25th (Puyallup).
Dead Heat Races in the House
- Republican Michelle Caldier is leading incumbent Democrat Larry Seaquist by 78 votes in the 26th (Gig Harbor/Port Orchard).
- Republican Paul Wagemann is leading Democrat Christine Kilduff by 69 votes in the 28th (Lakewood). This race is for the seat vacated by Democrat Tami Green who resigned her seat to run against Steve O’Ban for the Senate.
- Republican Dan Griffey trails incumbent Democrat Kathy Haigh by 223 votes in the 35th (Shelton/Mason County).
Close Races Democrats are Leading
- Republican Rob Toyer trails incumbent Hans Dunshee 52-47% or 913 votes in the 44th (Mill Creek/Arlington)
These numbers will change because as much as one-half of the total ballots are thought to be outstanding in some districts. As a result, we will spend the next several days or even weeks counting ballots.
You can follow the daily updates on election results here.
If the five closest elections break for the Republicans candidates, the House of Representatives would be a 50-48 Democrat majority.
Additionally, every race that is within one-half of one percentage point after the final recount is subject to a mandatory recount.
These close races just reinforce the fact that your participation matters. Thank you for being part of the effort.