Absentees keep Pearson ahead of Loomis in 39th

By SUSANNA RAY

Herald Writer

Kirk Pearson’s lead over Liz Loomis narrowed to about 500 votes after Thursday’s absentee ballot count, but it still looks like he will win the legislative seat in Olympia.

Loomis had 22,210 votes compared with Pearson’s 22,705. Snohomish County election officials counted about 30,000 ballots Thursday1. They expect to count another 30,000 absentees Tuesday.

Pearson, a Monroe Republican, and Loomis, a Snohomish Democrat, couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday night.

They are competing to replace state Rep. John Koster, R-Arlington, in the 39th Legislative District, which includes most of Snohomish County east of the I-5 corridor.

Koster stepped down to run for Congress, hoping to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Jack Metcalf, R-Wash. But Thursday’s count had Koster’s Democratic opponent, Rick Larsen, still up by about 10,000 votes.

The count didn’t significantly change percentages in other races, either, including the tight competition between incumbent state Rep. Dave Anderson, D-Clinton, and former Rep. Barry Sehlin, R-Oak Harbor.

Sehlin led by about 1,300 votes, which means Anderson will be the only legislative incumbent that voters in Snohomish and Island counties booted out of office this year.

It’s still not clear which party will control the state House of Representatives, but current results give the Democrats a two-seat majority.

The Senate Democrats likely will have a one-seat majority.

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