Early voting results show the GOP-led Majority Coalition Caucus is likely to remain in control of the Washington State Senate. A Democratic majority remains in the House, although Republicans appear to have picked up a few seats.
Here’s a look at some of the key legislative races:
Sen. Andy Hill, the Senate’s lead Republican budget writer from Redmond, appears to be holding onto his seat, with 53 percent of the vote. Democratic challenger Matt Isenhower has 47 percent of the vote.
Republican Sen. Steve O’Ban of Tacoma was defeating his Democratic challenger, Rep. Tami Green, 55 to 45 percent.
In Federal Way, Republican Mark Miloscia is in the lead with 56 percent. His Democratic opponent, Shari Song, has 44 percent. The seat become open earlier this year when Democratic Sen. Tracey Eide decided not to run for reelection.
Republican Sen. Pam Roach fought a bitter contest against fellow Republican Rep. Cathy Dahlquist in the 31st District. Results show Roach in the lead, 53 to 47 percent.
Sen. Tim Sheldon, a Democrat who joined with the Republicans to form the Majority Coalition Caucus in the Senate, appears to be holding onto his seat. Sheldon is ahead with 55 percent of the vote against Democrat Irene Bowling.
Democratic Rep. Cyrus Habib is winning the 48th District seat by 64 percent. He will succeed Sen. Rodney Tom, who was one of two Democrats, along with Sheldon, who joined the GOP-led Majority Coalition Caucus.
In Spokane, Republican Sen. Michael Baumgartner was leading his Democratic opponent Rich Cowan, 57 to 43 percent.
Republican Sen. Doug Ericksen of Ferndale also appears to have a comfortable lead, winning 59 percent of the vote over his Democratic challenger Seth Fleetwood.
In the state House, a few seats appear poised to switch parties.
Democratic Rep. Monica Stonier of Vancouver is trailing behind her Republican challenger Lynda Wilson. Wilson is ahead 51 to 49 percent.
In the 25th District, Republican Melanie Stambaugh, a 24-year-old newcomer to politics, is leading against Democratic Rep. Dawn Morrell. Stambaugh, who would become the youngest member of the Legislature if elected, is ahead with 53 percent of the vote.
One race that is too close to call is between Democratic Rep. Larry Seaquist and Republican Michelle Caldier, a dentist who is running for office for the first time. Caldier is currently ahead by just 78 votes.
Another tight race is shaping up between Democratic Rep. Kathy Haigh and Republican Dan Griffey, a firefighter who is challenging her for the third time. Haigh has a slight lead of 223 votes.
Rep. Roger Freeman, a Democratic lawmaker from Federal Way, died last week after a battle with cancer. His name remained on the ballot, and he appears to be winning the election against Republican Jack Dovey, 53 to 47 percent. If Freeman wins, Democrats will appoint a replacement.
Republican Rep. Jesse Young is leading in the 26th District, which includes parts of Bremerton, Port Orchard and Gig Harbor. He faced opposition from emergency room doctor and former Democratic Sen. Nathan Schlicher. Young was ahead 53 to 47 percent.
You can see all the legislative results on the Secretary of State’s website.
Voters also decided on three initiatives:
Voters approved Initiative 594, a gun control measure that expands background checks on gun sales in the state. The initiative was winning with 60 percent of the vote. The counter measure, Initiative 591, which bars the state from adopting background checks stricter than national standards, was being rejected by 55 percent.
A classroom size initiative is still too close to call. Initiative 1351 would require smaller classroom sizes, and the “no” votes were leading by 51 percent to 49 percent of “yes” votes.