WA 2018 Midterm Election Results: Report From Brad Boswell, Boswell Consulting

Saturday, November 10

We have now finished the third day of ballot counting here in Washington and 7 races are still considered too close to call with ~240,000 ballots remaining to be processed statewide and a voter turnout of just over 70%. It will be a very long weekend for candidates in these races as counting will pause for the 3-day Veteran’s Day break and commence again on Tuesday with an evening ballot count update. If these races are still separated by less than 0.5% AND 2,000 votes when all ballots are accounted for (likely early next week) they will go to recount. Currently 5 races would qualify—indicated below with asterisks—though this may change as counting continues. Candidates may also request a recount if they are outside of the mandated recount margins, but have to pay out of pocket for the expensive process.

As of last night’s count, Democrats have increased their majority by 2 seats in the Senate and 6 in the House over their previous 25-24 and 50-48 margins, respectively. If the current results hold through the remainder of ballot counting and potential recounts, we will likely be looking at Democratic majorities of 27-22 in the Senate and 57-41 in the House. Though certainly heavily democratic, neither chamber will see a supermajority, which requires one party to hold 2/3 of the seats.

Here are the updated numbers on ballot measures and key races as of 6:30 pm last night. The highlighted districts indicate those that are still too-close-to-call.

Statewide Initiatives

 I-1631—Carbon Fee

Voters soundly rejected what could have been the first-in-the-nation carbon tax by a 56.5% to 43.5% margin Nearly $50 million was spent in this race, with the proponents spending in excess of $17.5 million and the opponents deploying over $31 million.

I-1634—Local Grocery Tax Prohibition

This measure will preempt municipalities from instituting taxes on food or beverage similar to that of the Seattle’s beverage tax imposed by the city council last year. It passed by a wide 55.4% to 44.6% margin.

I-1639—Increased Gun Regulation

This initiative, which passed with 60% approval, imposes restriction on firearm purchase and ownership including background checks, storage requirements, waiting periods for purchasing semiautomatic assault rifles, and increases the minimum age to buy semiautomatic assault rifles to 21.

I-940—Police Training & Criminal Liability in Cases of Deadly Force

I-940 also passed with nearly 60% of the vote. It will create of a good faith test to determine when the use of deadly force by police is justifiable and require police to receive de-escalation and mental health training.

WA State Senate – Key Races 

6th District (Spokane)

Rep. Jeff Holy (R) has defeated Democratic challenger Jessa Lewis (D) in traditionally Republican District.

  • Holy: 55.17%
  • Lewis: 44.83%

**26th District (Port Orchard and parts of the Kitsap Peninsula)

Marty McClendon (R) has pulled ahead of Emily Randall (D) in last night’s ballot count. He leads by a very tight 222 votes.

  • McClendon: 50.17%
  • Randall: 49.83%

30th District (Federal Way)

Challenger Claire Wilson (D) will take the seat of Republican Senator Mark Miloscia in this lean-Democrat district.

  • Wilson: 53.97%
  • Milsocia: 46.03%

32nd District (North Seattle)

Democrat Jesse Solomon had a sweeping victory over Sen. Maralyn Chase (D).

  • Solomon: 69.25%
  • Chase: 30.75%

34th District (Vashon Island/West Seattle/Burien)

Joe Nguyen (D), who beat Shannon Braddock (D) by a substantial margin, will replace senate Majority Leader Sharon Nelson’s seat.

  • Nguyen: 58.18%
  • Braddock: 41.82%

35th District (Shelton)

Sen. Tim Sheldon has defeated Irene Bowling (D). He will continue to caucus with the MCC.

  • Sheldon: 52.26%
  • Bowling: 47.74%

**42nd District (East Whatcom County)

Incumbent Republican Senator Doug Ericksen is still ahead but lost votes in yesterday’s count and is now ahead by only 72 votes against democratic challenger Pinky Vargas. If this race remains with a 0.25% margin, it will require a manual recount.

  • Ericksen: 50.05%
  • Vargas: 49.95%

47th District (Kent/Auburn)

Sen. Joe Fain (R) had continued to fall behind in yesterday’s ballot counting and officially conceded the race to Mona Das (D) at 7:00 pm last night.

  • Das: 50.51%
  • Fain: 49.49%

WA State House of Representatives — Key Races

5th District Pos. 1 (Sammamish)

Bill Ramos (R) will fill the seat created by Rep. Jay Rodne’s departure after defeating Chad Magendanz (R).

  • Ramos: 51.4%
  • Magendanz: 48.6%

5th District Pos. 2 (Sammamish)

Democratic challenger Lisa Callan will replace incumbent Rep. Paul Graves (R).

  • Callan: 52.12%
  • Graves: 47.88%

6th District Pos. 2 Open (Spokane)

Jenny Graham (R) extended her lead slightly to 591 votes yesterday and appears to have defeated Dave Wilson (D) in this open seat.

  • Graham: 50.54%
  • Wilson: 49.46%

10th District Pos. 1 (Mt. Vernon)

Rep. Norma Smith (R) has defeated Scott McMullen (D) in this swing-Republican district.

  • Smith: 52.53%
  • McMullen: 47.47%

**10th District Pos. 2 (Mt. Vernon)

Democratic challenger Dave Paul still leads Rep. Dave Hayes (R) but lost ground in last night’s count. Now only 309 votes are between them.

  • Paul: 50.24%
  • Hayes: 49.76%

17th District Pos. 1 (Vancouver)

Rep. Vicki Kraft (R) increased her slim lead on Tanisha Harris (D) but this race is still extremely close. Kraft now leads by 1070 votes.

  • Kraft: 50.93%
  • Harris: 49.08%

18th District Pos. 2  (Vancouver)

Larry Hoff (R) has beat out Kathy Gillespie (D) for this open seat.

  • Hoff: 52.9%
  • Gillespie: 47.1%

**19th District Pos. 1 (SW Washington — Lower Olympic Peninsula)

Rep. Jim Walsh (R) continues to defend his seat against challenger Erin Frasier (D) but lost votes in yesterday’s count. He now only leads by 536 votes.

  • Walsh: 50.48%
  • Fraiser: 49.52%

25th District Pos. 1  (Puyallup)

In this swing-district open seat, Republican Kelly Chambers has likely defeated Democrat Jamie Smith.

  • Chambers: 51.28%
  • Smith: 48.72%

25th District Pos. 2  (Puyallup)

This also open seat has gone to Republican Chris Gildon who ran against Democrat Brian Duthie.

  • Gildon: 51.93%
  • Duthie: 48.07%

26th District Pos. 1 (Port Orchard)

Rep. Jesse Young (R) has defeated of challenger Connie Fitzpatrick (D).

  • Young: 52.12%
  • Fitzpatrck: 47.88%

28th District Pos. 1 (University Place)

Democratic challenger Mari Leavitt (D) will take Republican Rep. Dick Muri’s seat in this pure swing district.

  • Leavitt: 52.13%
  • Muri: 47.87%

35th District Pos. 2 (Shelton)

Rep. Drew MacEwen (R) has defended his seat against challenger David Daggett (D) in this swing district.

  • MacEwen: 51.43%
  • Dagget: 48.57%

**42nd District Pos. 1 (Whatcom County)

Rep. Luanne Van Werven (R) is still ahead of challenger Justin Boneau (D) but only by 131 votes now. She lost ground in last night’s ballot count. This race will also trigger a manual recount if it remains within 0.25%.

  • Van Werven: 50.09%
  • Boneau: 49.91%

42nd District Pos. 2 (Whatcom County)

Sharon Shewmake (D) increased her lead on Rep. Vince Buys (R) last night and now leads by 941 votes. Shewmake is now expected to win this race.

  • Shewmake: 50.66%
  • Buys: 49.34%

44th District Pos. 2 (Mill Creek)

Challenger Jared Mead (D) has defeated incumbent Rep. Mark Harmsworth (R).

  • Mead: 52.12%
  • Harmsworth: 47.88%

47th District Pos. 1 (Kent/Auburn)

Challenger Debra Entenman will replace incumbent Rep. Mark Hargrove (R) in this pure swing district.

  • Entenman: 53.17%
  • Hargrove: 46.83%