Manka Dhingra (D) has won Washington state's Senate seat for the 45th district, meaning democrats will gain control of the state senate, according to projections from The Associated Press.
Jinyoung Lee Englund (R) ran against Dhingra for the eastside district, which includes Kirkland, Sammamish, Duvall, Redmond, and Woodinville.
Dhingra led with 55 percent of the vote as of Wednesday afternoon. The next round of results will drop about 4:30 p.m. on Thursday.
Read about Dhingra and Englund below.
Manka Dhingra (D)
Dhingra, a King County Senior Deputy Prosecutor, has worked on crisis-intervention training and criminal justice reform.
She received 16,156 votes for 55.42% of the electorate as of Tuesday.
Dhingra's campaign website describes the democratic candidate as follows, "A Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney with the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, award winning PTSA mom, anti- domestic violence advocate and community leader, Manka Dhingra is running for State Senate to address critical needs in education funding, mental health, violence prevention, and to protect the rights of women."
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Dhingra had a 10-point lead over Englund in August's top-two primary as both advanced to the November ballot. She oversees therapeutic alternative courts for the mentally ill and veterans and founded a nonprofit to address domestic violence in the area's South Asian community. Dhingra was born in India, and her family moved to the U.S. when she was a teen. She cites Trump's election as the catalyst for her desire to run.
Jinyoung Lee Englund (R)
Englund, a staffer for U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, has largely campaigned on preserving a “balance of government” that will better serve Washington. She made headlines when her supporters of Englund created an ad poking fun at Seattle. Read and watch it here.
Englund has received 12,997 votes for 44.58% of the electorate, as of Tuesday night.
Englund's campaign website describes the Republican candidate as follows: "Jinyoung Lee Englund is the daughter of Korean immigrants, a third generation Washingtonian, second generation military spouse, entrepreneur and State Senate candidate for the 45th Legislative District in Washington state."
Englund, 33, recently moved back to her home state from Japan, where her husband is still stationed with the Marines. She has been criticized for moving into the district just one month before announcing her candidacy, but she argues she returned to Washington to be closer to her aging parents.
The winner of Tuesday's election will fill the seat of late Sen. Andy Hill, who died of Lung cancer last year at the age of 54, but the election is also key for the only Republican-held legislative chamber on the West Coast.
Democrats currently control the governorship and the state Legislature in Washington State. Republicans hold a one-seat majority in the state Senate, currently the only Republican-held legislative chamber on the West Coast.
A win on Tuesday by Mankha Dhingra would give Democrats full control of government in the state. If the Washington Senate flips, the state will join Oregon and California with Democratic one-party rule in both legislative chambers and the governor's office.
Meanwhile, a win by Jinyoung Lee Englund would maintain the one-seat majority in the state Senate for Republicans.
With control of the Washington Senate at stake, the race between Manka Dhingra (D) and Jinyoung Lee Englund (R) is the most expensive in state history.
Officials with the Public Disclosure Commission said in October that combined spending by the campaigns Democrat Manka Dhingra and Republican Jinyoung Lee Englund exceeds $2.4 million, surpassing the previous record of nearly $1.5 million.
That 2014 race - between Hill and Democratic opponent Matt Isenhower - was in the same district.
The spending by the campaigns does not include about $3.7 million spent by outside groups so far.
Information from the Associated Press is included in this post.
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