Washington voters have elected a Republican to the office of secretary of state — continuing a 48-year tradition — and approved an initiative that makes Washington the 42nd state in the nation to allow charter schools.
Republican Kim Wyman won the close race for Secretary of State with 50.6 percent of the vote. Her opponent, Democrat Kathleen Drew, conceded over the weekend and posted a statement saying Wyman “will carry forward Washington’s tradition of fair and impartial elections.”
Wyman replaces Sam Reed, a fellow Republican who is retiring after 12 years. Republicans have held the position for 48 years; Victor Meyers was the last Democrat to hold the office in 1964.
Also over the weekend: Supporters of charter schools declared a “clear victory” for Initiative 1240, which allows up to 40 charter schools to open in Washington over the next five years. The initiative is leading by more than 44,000 votes as of Monday evening, and the AP has called the race.
The race between Republican state Sen. Don Benton and Democratic Rep. Tim Probst remains a virtual tie — Probst is ahead by only 16 votes with more ballots outstanding. The outcome of the race will likely determine if Democrats can hold onto control of the state Senate, as Jordan Schrader of The News Tribune outlines in this story.