Inslee to create transition team

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Confident of victory, Democratic candidate for governor Jay Inslee said Wednesday he is beginning to create a transition team to help him prepare for taking office in January.

The announcement came despite what election officials say is hundreds of thousands of votes to be counted in a close race.

Inslee stopped short of declaring victory, acknowledging that the election's final result may not be known until the end of this week.

Inslee held a promising advantage after nearly 2 million votes were counted Tuesday, carrying 51 percent of ballots.

McKenna spokesman Charles McCray said the campaign is waiting to see the new numbers and that aides still expect McKenna will ultimately win.

Washington voters made the state the first in the nation to legalize recreational pot use, setting up a showdown with a federal government that backs the drug's prohibition.  [Full story]

Washington voters were narrowly approving gay marriage in the state, as measures allowing same-sex marriage passed in Maine and held a slim lead in Maryland.    With about half of the expected ballots counted Tuesday night, Referendum 74 was passing with 52 percent of the vote.

Get election results in our Local Election Results section

Democrat Suzan DelBene defeated Republican John Koster in Washington's most-contested congressional race. [Full story]

Voters re-elected Rick Larsen, a Democrat, to U.S. House District 2. They also re-elected Adam Smith, a Democrat, to House District 9.  And they re-elected Maria Cantwell as U.S. Senator.

Democrat Denny Heck was elected U.S. Representative for District 10, Republican Dave Reichert was re-elected Representative for District 8, and Democrat Derek Kilmer was elected to U.S. House, District 6.

Initiative 1185, requiring the Legislature to get a two-thirds majority vote to raise taxes, passed.