Gorton-Cantwell gap narrows


Associated Press

OLYMPIA — Democrat Maria Cantwell, hoping to pick off Sen. Slade Gorton and give the Democrats a 50-50 tie in the U.S. Senate, moved to within 4,255 votes of the senator on Friday as votes were tallied in her strongest region, populous King County.

The Republican incumbent’s campaign remained confident of victory, even as Cantwell continued to project a come-from-behind win when a large clump of absentees are counted next week.

Nearly 165,000 votes were counted Friday, mostly in King County, where Cantwell was outpolling Gorton with about 56 percent of the vote, and in Yakima and Clallam counties, which continued to side with Gorton, the three-term incumbent. King County includes heavily Democratic Seattle.

Cantwell, a dotcom millionaire who served in the Legislature for six years and in the U.S. House for one term, gained some ground on Gorton. She picked up 83,016 votes. Gorton picked up fewer votes statewide, 77,259.

Jeff Jared, the Libertarian candidate, picked up 3,810 votes.

Gorton’s grand total now stands at 977,511 votes to Cantwell’s 973,256, a difference of one-fifth of 1 percent. Jared has 51,420 votes.

More than 2 million votes have been counted in the race so far. Secretary of State Ralph Munro estimates that 350,000 to 400,000 mail-in ballots remain to be counted. No significant new vote totals are expected until Monday.

Both the Cantwell and Gorton camps said the outcome of the race may be clear on Tuesday, when a number of populous counties, including King, are expected to announce new tallies.

"We’re very encouraged," said Gorton spokeswoman Cynthia Bergman. "We are cautiously optimistic. Maria knows the numbers she needed in King County — like 60-40 — and she’s not getting this. She is at 56 percent in the county, whereas she was getting 59 percent on election day."

She said Gorton analysts found a small Republican lift in the absentee votes in the rest of the state.

But Cantwell spokesman Ellis Conklin said: "We’re feeling confident of winning. The numbers look good to us. We have another 170,000 coming to count in King."

Cantwell is "basically laying low" this weekend, calling supporters, writing thank-you notes and resting, he said. She saw the movie "The Contender" while waiting for more returns, he said.

"This will be the first weekend she has had off since last December," he said. As for the wait in finding out if she wins or loses, "It has been such a long campaign, what’s three more days?"

If Cantwell wins the race, the Senate will have a 50-50 tie unless Gore wins the presidency and his vice president, Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, turns over his seat to a Republican appointee.

If Bush wins the White House, his vice president, Dick Cheney, would be able to break ties in the 50-50 Senate.

If Gorton wins, the Republicans get 51 seats. If Gorton and Gore win, the GOP will have 52 seats.

Copyright ©2000 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Funko mascots Freddy Funko roll past on a conveyor belt in the Pop! Factory of the company's new flagship store on Aug. 18, 2017.  (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Lawsuit: Funko misled investors about Arizona move

A shareholder claims Funko’s decision to relocate its distribution center from Everett to Arizona was “disastrous.”

1 stabbed at apartment in Lynnwood

The man, 26, was taken to an Everett hospital with “serious injuries.”

A firefighting helicopter carries a bucket of water from a nearby river to the Bolt Creek Fire on Saturday, Sep. 10, 2022, on U.S. Highway 2 near Index, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Red flag fire warning issued west of Cascades

There are “critical fire weather” conditions due to humidity and wind in the Cascades, according to the National Weather Service.

A house fire damaged two homes around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 6, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Photo provided by Marysville Fire District)
Fire burns 2 homes in Marysville, killing 2 dogs

Firefighters responded to a report of a fire north of Lakewood Crossing early Tuesday, finding two houses engulfed in flames.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Mountlake Terrace in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Mountlake Terrace eyes one-time projects for $2.4M in federal funds

Staff recommended $750,000 for a new roof and HVAC at the library, $250,000 toward a nonprofit facility in Lynnwood and more.

The Snohomish River turns along the edge of the Bob Heirman Wildlife Preserve at Thomas’ Eddy on Wednesday, May 3, 2023 in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
To build a healthier Snohomish River, more log jams

About $2.8M in grants will help engineer log jams, tear down levees and promote salmon restoration at Bob Heirman Wildlife Preserve.

Dave "Bronco" Erickson stands next to the pink-and-purple 1991 Subaru Justy hatchback “Pork Chop Express” car that he is seeking to re-home for $500. The car has been on Whidbey Island for years, mainly as yard art. (Andrea Brown / The Herald)
For sale: Whidbey’s fabled ‘Pork Chop Express’ gets great smileage

Asking price is $500 for the 1991 Subaru Justy, a three-cylinder econobox with 65K miles and a transmission as rare as hen’s teeth.

Ciscoe Morris, a longtime horticulturist and gardening expert, will speak at Sorticulture. (Photo provided by Sorticulture)
Get your Sorticulture on: Garden festival returns to downtown Everett

It’s a chance to shop, dance, get gardening tips, throw an axe and look through a big kaleidoscope. Admission is free.

Marysville resident sentenced to 15 years for fentanyl operation

Jose Eduardo Garnica received a shipment from China labeled “Furniture Parts.” It had fentanyl-manufacturing parts.

Most Read