A week later, WA state Senate race winner still unknown

A week later, WA state Senate race winner still unknown

CLARK COUNTY, Wash. – A week after election night two Washington state legislative races are still too close to call in Clark County.

Republican state Sen. Don Benton has regained the lead as he tries to hold onto his seat in the 17th district. He now leads Democratic challenger Tim Probst by just 65 votes. And the two candidates running to replace Probst as state representative are separated by just 39 votes.

The leader in the state Senate race has flipped three times since election night.

Benton trailed Probst on election night by 222 votes. The next day Probst's lead shrunk to 102. A day later, Benton took a 62-vote lead. But then the race flipped back to Probst and he led by 16. But now Benton is leading again by 65 votes.

About 5,000 ballots remain to be counted in Clark County as postmarked ballots continue to trickle in from overseas.

"It's very emotional, you know, up down, up down, you're on pins and needles and you don't know how it's going to come out," Benton said. "I think voters have had enough of the election process by Election Day. They want to move on with their lives and to drag it on until November 30th is kind of ridiculous really."

Now he's asking supporters to make sure they aren't among the 1,100 Clark County voters who forgot to sign their voting envelope, or whose signature doesn't match what's on file.

Benton said he'd like to see Washington restore the option of voting at the polls, and even look at Oregon's model of requiring ballots to arrive by Election Day.

If the candidates are separated by less than half a percent on Nov. 27, it will trigger an automatic manual recount.

Probst was not available to speak with KATU News Tuesday night.