Washington State General Election Report

Brad Boswell

Contract Lobbyist

Boswell Consulting

At this point, most of the races have been determined and the makeup of the Washington State Legislature is set. While there were some partisan changes in certain districts, the overall Legislature is very similar to what it has been for the past few years.

Statewide Offices 

  • Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI): This is the only statewide race that remains slightly in question. Although we do not expect the results to change, it is close enough to keep watching. Former Representative Chris Reykdal appears to have defeated Erin Jones by 50.58% to 49.42%. However, this race has narrowed with the new count and just 29,378 votes separate the two candidates.

Washington State Senate 

The Senate is currently controlled by a 26 to 23 margin by the Majority Coalition Caucus (MCC). (The MCC consists of 25 Republicans and one Democrat.) In 2016, there were five toss up seats that were strongly contested and at this point control of the Senate appears to have remained with the MCC, which will now hold a 25 to 24 majority.

  • 5th LD: Is the only race still in question. However, Senator Mark Mullet (D) 50.44% has narrowly defeated challenger Representative Chad Magendanz (R) 49.56%, with a total of 544 votes separating them.
  • Additional Note: In a reversal of trends, Senator Pam Roach (R) 50.37% appears to have defeated Carolyn Edmonds (D) 49.62% in their race for the Pierce County Council. Roach will be required to leave the Senate since Pierce County Charter Amendment 44, which prohibits lawmakers from holding more than one office, passed by 81%.

Washington State House of Representatives

The House of Representatives is currently controlled by a 50 to 48 margin by Democrats. There were 11 toss up seats going into the final days of the general election. Republicans held seven of those seats and Democrats held four. With current results, Democrats will continue to control the House by a 50 to 48 margin.

  • 19th LD: Teresa Purcell (D) 49.54% is now losing to Jim Walsh (R) 50.46 in this seat that is currently held by the Democrats. Only 500 votes separate the two. 
  • 30th LD: Challenger Kristine Reeves (D) 51.04% appears to have defeated Representative Terri Hickel (R) 48.96%. This race is only separated by 900 votes and may go into a recount.


Looking to 2017, there will be at least three special elections next year:

  • 45th LD Senate due to death of Sen. Andy Hill (R)
  • 48th LD House due to Senator Habib (D) being elected to Lt. Governor
  • 37th LD House due to Senator Jayapal (D) being elected to Congress
  • 31st LD Senate if Senator Pam Roach leaves for the Pierce County Council

Appointments to these seats will be completed in the next few months. Individuals appointed to these seats must run for election in 2017.

The 45th LD Senate seat will be hotly contested next year, with as much as $2 million expected to be spent on both sides. This one race will ultimately determine control of the State Senate.