The Capitol Record

Watkins concedes race for state auditor, Inslee still leads by more than 50K votes

Troy Kelley

James Watkins

Troy Kelley

James Watkins, the Republican candidate for state auditor, conceded the race to Democratic state Rep. Troy Kelley on Friday morning, capping a bitterly contested campaign for the office.

Kelley is leading with 52 percent of the vote.

Watkins said in a statement that “it does not appear that I will prevail” in the race. “It is my sincere hope that Troy Kelley has a successful term and capably fills the vacuum left by Brian Sonntag,” Watkins said.

As of the last ballot count at 9 a.m. Friday morning, Democrat Jay Inslee was still ahead in the race for governor by about 54,000 votes.

About 2.5 million ballots have been counted, but at least 600,000 remain outstanding.

Rob McKenna‘s campaign manager, Randy Pepple, released a YouTube video explaining to supporters that they expect late ballots to break for McKenna.

In the close race for secretary of state, Republican Kim Wyman was holding onto her lead over Democrat Kathleen Drew by about 32,500 votes.

The charter school measure was also still ahead by a slim margin.

In the extremely close race for the 17th District state Senate seat, Republican Don Benton was ahead by 62 votes over Democratic challenger Tim Probst.

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