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Democrats had the early advantage in the race for control of the Washington state Senate as Democrat Manka Dhingra led Republican Jinyoung Englund by 10 points in a special election on the eastside of Lake Washington.

Gary Davis / KNKX

Update 5:30 p.m. Nov. 9: Some Races Remain Close, But Leads Widen

Some patterns are emerging two days after election night, while some races remain very tight.

In odd-numbered years, Election Day consists of a hodgepodge of state, local and special elections.

But in an era when, to flip an old phrase, all politics is national, these low-profile, low-turnout elections might have a lot more to say about the direction of the country than may have been the case just a few years ago.

Two governors races and one president in the background

More than 170 women who work or have worked at the state Capitol have signed onto a letter urging sweeping change at the Legislature to end inappropriate behavior and misconduct women say they face on the job.

A former legislative assistant for Washington state House Democrats says she was sexually harassed by Rep. Jim Jacks nearly two years before he was forced to resign for “inappropriate behavior,” but that the House’s system for addressing misconduct failed her.

A task force appointed by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has released a series of possible options for shrinking the state’s public pension deficit. The options include a lengthy list of ways to generate cash through a combination of one-time and ongoing changes.

The list includes some eye-catching proposals such as privatizing the state’s public universities that are unlikely to gain much traction politically.

A Washington state lawmaker who abruptly resigned his seat in March 2011 had been accused by a female staff member of inappropriate behavior.  

That’s according to a statement released late Wednesday by House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan in response to renewed questions from the media about the resignation of Democrat Jim Jacks of Vancouver.  

Will James / KNKX

It's been seven years since Native American woodcarver John T. Williams was shot and killed by Seattle Police. His death sparked the city's 2012 agreement with the federal government over use of force and biased policing.

Whoever is elected mayor of Seattle will be responsible for continuing to oversee changes in the police department.

Ashley Gross / KNKX

The Seattle public school district has made it a high priority to eliminate achievement gaps between kids from different racial groups and socioeconomic backgrounds. It's a major issue for school board candidates, including including those vying for the seat representing District 7 in the southeastern part of Seattle.  

Will James / KNKX

As soon as Seattle's next mayor takes office, she'll be confronted with a scene like the one on the western slope of Beacon Hill. 

Dozens of tents and shelters, some made of tarps and rugs, rise from the blackberry brambles along I-90. Scattered among them are mattresses, bicycles, dolls, and piles of garbage. 

This is home to some of the estimated 3,900 Seattle residents living outside. 

Leaders in the Washington Legislature said they won’t tolerate sexual harassment, and encourage women to report unwanted attention from men. Those comments follow our investigation with The News Tribune of Tacoma into the workplace climate at the state Capitol.

The White House is blocking money to build new tribal housing along the Columbia River. That’s according to five members of the Washington and Oregon congressional delegations.

Nicole Grant was excited when she arrived at the state Capitol in 2010 to lobby on behalf of the Certified Electrical Workers of Washington. A journeyman electrician by training, Grant would be representing her fellow union members on issues such as workplace rights and safety.

Grant quickly realized that the workplace climate in Olympia was different than anything she had experienced.

Ashley Gross / KNKX

One of the biggest issues animating the race for mayor in Seattle is juggling the interests of homeowners with the need to create more affordable housing. 

On average, 57 people move to Seattle every day, which has been pushing home prices up faster than any other large metro area in the country.

Both Cary Moon and Jenny Durkan agree Seattle is in the midst of a housing affordability crisis, and they each have put forward ideas for possible solutions.

The first charges have been filed in the special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. election, and the court documents help make clearer the timeline of Russia-related events that took place during the presidential campaign.

George Papadopoulos, who worked for President Trump's campaign as a foreign policy adviser, has pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents about meeting a professor with Russian ties who had promised to provide "dirt" on Trump's Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

Updated at 4:20 p.m. ET

Apparent Russian agents began reaching out to Donald Trump's presidential campaign as early as March 2016, the Justice Department established in documents released Monday, with appeals for partnership and offers of help including "dirt" on Trump's opponent, Hillary Clinton.

That case is made in charging documents in the case of then-Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.

CAMPAIGN PHOTOS

The state senate race in Washington’s 45th legislative district is a special election that has generated a lot of interest and record-setting, six-figure donations.

Republican Jinyoung Englund and Democrat Manka Dhingra are vying to fill the seat left vacant by Republican Andy Hill, who died of cancer last October.

Will James / KNKX

Voters in Shelton are facing a big question this election: Should the city completely change its form of government?

This community on the Olympic Peninsula is the last city in Washington state led by a three-member commission. 

A proposition on the ballot in the Nov. 7 election would expand the local government to a seven-member City Council. 

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Seattle City Councilmember Mike O'Brien is proposing a so-called head tax on large businesses to pay for homeless services.

O'Brien sat down with Seattle Times political reporters Jim Brunner and Dan Beekman to talk about the goals of the tax and why he thinks it's time to pass it. 

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

As the federal government weighs whether to increase entrance fees for some national parks, a congressman from Washington state is proposing a different way to address a big maintenance backlog.

Flickr photo "Union Station" by Travis Wise is licensed under cc by 2.0 http://bit.ly/2h8jZfq

Balancing business development, focusing on environmentally-conscious projects and combating homelessness are just a few of the issues coming up in Tacoma. Voters now have an opportunity to decide who will lead the city into its next phase.

Courtesy of the New Hope Resource Center

Homelessness is one of the thorniest local election issues in Western Washington this year, even -- or especially -- in the small Pierce County city of Puyallup. 

This week, Sarah Huckabee Sanders promoted one of the White House's chief selling points about the Republican tax plan. The pitch: American households will get an additional $4,000 as a result of the tax overhaul proposed in September.

The number comes from an estimate produced by the Council of Economic Advisers earlier this month.

From Ashland to Whistler, Northwest cities large and small are grappling with whether and how to regulate short term rentals of accommodations. Concern about rowdy behavior or preserving housing stock for workers motivates regulation.

Will James / KNKX

This year's election in Burien is about more than local issues like potholes and streetlights.

With Election Day less than a month away, money is pouring into Washington state political action committees. Much of that cash will likely find its way to a special state Senate race on the east side of Lake Washington.

The outcome of that race will determine which party controls the Senate. 


Updated at 12:15 p.m. ET

Less than a week after President Trump said he is cutting off subsidies to health insurance companies, lawmakers announced Tuesday that they had a deal to restore the money and take other actions that could stabilize insurance markets for next year.

Students at Todd Beamer High School in Federal Way talk about politics, the media and more, on Oct. 12, 2017.
Federal Way Public Schools

Ballots for the November election go out to registered voters Wednesday. People in communities across western Washington are deciding on mayors, city councils, school boards and other issues.

But if you look at voter turnout numbers, people tend to be less engaged during local election years.  KNKX visited a place where they’re trying to explain how local issues can be just as important as national ones: A high school civics class. 

Voters in one of Oregon’s largest counties will have the chance this November to dramatically reshape their county government. The question before Douglas County residents is whether or not to approve a home rule charter.

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