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GOP On Track To Hold Washington Senate, Pick Up House Seats


Washington Democrats appear to have failed in their bid to retake control of the state Senate. Early election returns Tuesday night showed Republicans holding onto their majority. Republicans were also poised to pick up seats in the Democratically-controlled Washington House. 

In the Washington Senate, Republicans were holding the line against Democratic challenges in half a dozen key races. Most notably in the 45th District on Seattle’s eastside. That’s where Republican Andy Hill was ahead of his Democratic challenger Matt Isenhower with 53 percent of the vote.

In other key races, Republican incumbents were leading by even more. This despite a $1 million effort by California billionaire and climate activist Tom Steyer to try to help Democrats win back the Senate.

In the Washington House, several Democratic incumbents were tied with or trailing their Republican challengers. If that trend holds, Democrats could find their majority shaved to just a seat or two. About half the ballots have been counted so far.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy as well as the Washington State legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia." Prior to joining the Northwest News Network, Austin worked as a television reporter in Seattle, Portland and Boise. Austin is a graduate of Garfield High School in Seattle and Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut. Austin’s reporting has been recognized with awards from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated and the Society of Professional Journalists.