Gorton, Cantwell locked in tight Senate race


Associated Press

SEATTLE – Sen. Slade Gorton, a fixture in Washington politics since 1958, and Maria Cantwell, who was born that year, were locked in a seesaw battle for a plum Senate seat Tuesday night.

With more than 1.4 million votes counted, the pair was separated by about 14,000 votes – with Cantwell polling 49 percent and Gorton 48 percent. Jeff Jared, a Kirkland lawyer running on the Libertarian ticket, was far back, at 3 percent.

Cantwell led in only five of the 39 counties, but had a commanding lead of over 100,000 votes in the populous King County.

Both sounded optimistic, but neither gave a victory speech. Cantwell came close, saying “I know we’re going to get this done. … We’re still waiting for the last information to come in, but I know, looking at your faces, that we are going to be successful.”

The crowd at a Democratic victory party at a Seattle hotel ballroom broke into a chant: “No more Slade! No more Slade!”

Cantwell said she hoped to be able to address Sen. Patty Murray, a fellow Democrat, as the state’s senior senator. If Cantwell indeed prevails, it would give the state two female senators for the first time since statehood. California and Maine also have two women senators.

Cantwell said her election would be a clarion call for campaign-finance reform. She largely financed her own campaign from her own wealth and didn’t take special-interest money.

“I think there is going to be a message that will be loud and clear all the way from Washington state to Washington, D.C. – you have to reform the political system and you have to bring about real change. …

“We have made a statement that we want a 21st Century vision for our state.”

Gorton refused to concede, and said he expects to pull out a victory.

“Obviously the race isn’t over yet,” he told supporters at a Bellevue hotel. “There are a million votes left to count. Almost all are in places … where we are doing very well. So perhaps you may have to hang around a while longer, perhaps even a week or two.

“Unfortunately, we have to swing against the tide in (Democratic-leaning) Washington. But when it’s all done, I’m convinced I’ll be in Wahsington, D.C.”

Republican Gorton, 72, a three-term incumbent who became a powerful budget chairman and counselor to Majority Leader Trent Lott, drew a spirited and well-heeled opponent in Cantwell, a woman 30 years his junior.

Cantwell plowed $10 million of her personal wealth into an ad-drenched, campaign that suggested Gorton was increasingly out-of-step with the electorate. Gorton retorted that he was the candidate with new ideas. He said his power and seniority serve the state well and that represents the whole state, not just Seattle.

Exit polling showed that Gorton was supported by men and seniors, and Cantwell got the nod from working women and moderate voters in a tightly contested race. The poll was conducted by Voter News Service, a partnership of The Associated Press and television networks.

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

Talk to us

More in Local News

FILE - A sign hangs at a Taco Bell on May 23, 2014, in Mount Lebanon, Pa. Declaring a mission to liberate "Taco Tuesday" for all, Taco Bell asked U.S. regulators Tuesday, May 16, 2023, to force Wyoming-based Taco John's to abandon its longstanding claim to the trademark. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)
Hepatitis A confirmed in Taco Bell worker in Everett, Lake Stevens

The health department sent out a public alert for diners at two Taco Bells on May 22 or 23.

VOLLI’s Director of Food & Beverage Kevin Aiello outside of the business on Friday, May 19, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Coming soon to Marysville: indoor pickleball, games, drinks

“We’re very confident this will be not just a hit, but a smash hit,” says co-owner Allan Jones, who is in the fun industry.

Detectives: Unresponsive baby was exposed to fentanyl at Everett hotel

An 11-month-old boy lost consciousness Tuesday afternoon. Later, the infant and a twin sibling both tested positive for fentanyl.

Cassie Franklin (left) and Nick Harper (right)
Report: No wrongdoing in Everett mayor’s romance with deputy mayor

An attorney hired by the city found no misuse of public funds. Texts between the two last year, however, were not saved on their personal phones.

Firearm discovered by TSA officers at Paine Field Thursday morning, May 11, 2023, during routine X-ray screening at the security checkpoint. (Transportation Security Administration)
3 guns caught by TSA at Paine Field this month — all loaded

Simple travel advice: Unpack before you pack to make sure there’s not a gun in your carry-on.

Heavy traffic northbound on 1-5 in Everett, Washington on August 31, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
To beat the rush this Memorial Day weekend, go early or late

AAA projects busy airports, ferries and roads over the holiday weekend this year, though still below pre-pandemic counts.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Snohomish in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Troopers: DUI crash leaves 1 in critical condition in Maltby

A drunken driver, 34, was arrested after her pickup rear-ended another truck late Tuesday, injuring a Snohomish man, 28.

Housing Hope CEO Donna Moulton raises her hand in celebration of the groundbreaking of the Housing Hope Madrona Highlands on Tuesday, May 23, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
$30M affordable housing project to start construction soon in Edmonds

Once built, dozens of families who are either homeless or in poverty will move in and receive social and work services.

A south-facing view of the proposed site for a new mental health facility on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022, near 300th Street NW and 80th Avenue NW north of Stanwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
County Council OK’s Stanwood behavioral health center

After an unsuccessful appeal to block it, the Tulalip Tribes are now on the cusp of building the 32-bed center in farmland.

Most Read