• Carbon tax, gun law, competitive House seats among hot races on state ballot

    By: KIRO 7 News Staff , The Associated Press

    Updated:

    The crowded Washington state ballot for Tuesday's election includes four initiatives, 10 congressional races, a U.S. Senate seat and more than 100 legislative contests.

    Join KIRO 7 tonight as we bring you full election coverage in Washington State and from across the country. Our election night coverage begins with KIRO 7 News at 5, with updates throughout the evening after the ballot return deadline at 8 p.m.

     

    Here are the highlights:

    CARBON TAX AMONG HIGH-PROFILE MEASURES

    Initiative 1631 would charge large carbon emitters fees on fossil fuels used or sold in the state or electricity generated within the state starting in 2020. Opponents have raised more than $31 million, mostly from oil companies, a state record for statewide initiatives, to fight the proposal.

    Voters also will decide the fate of I-1639, which toughens background checks for people buying semi-automatic rifles; Initiative 1634, backed by the soda industry, would prohibit local governments from imposing new taxes on soda or grocery items; and Initiative 940, a measure designed to improve police training in de-escalation tactics and eliminate a requirement that prosecutors prove officers acted with malice in order to get a conviction in negligent shootings.

    GUN INITIATIVE

    Voters will also decide the fate of Initiative 1639, which toughens background checks for people buying semi-automatic rifles, increases the age limit to 21 for buyers of those guns and adds firearm storage provisions.

    POLICE STANDARDS

    Washington residents are deciding on a ballot measure, I-940, that would chance standards for use of deadly force, adding a "good faith" standard and independent investigation.

    The measure also would require law enforcement to receive violence de-escalation, mental-health, and first-aid training. However, officers in Washington already receive training for first aid and for dealing with mental illness, including de-escalation techniques. 


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    DEMS LOOK TO FLIP GOP SEATS

    The hotly contested open seat in the 8th Congressional District has been one of the costliest in the nation as Democrats see a potential pickup that could help determine control of the U.S. House. Dr. Kim Schrier, a Democrat and pediatrician, and Republican Dino Rossi, a former state senator who had previous unsuccessful runs for governor and the U.S. Senate, are vying to replace retiring Republican U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert.

    More than $25 million has poured into the 8th District race, with most coming from outside groups.

    In the 5th Congressional District, Republican incumbent Cathy McMorris Rodgers faces Democrat Lisa Brown, a former chancellor of Washington State University who previously served as majority leader in the state Senate. In the 3rd Congressional District, Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler is facing a strong challenge from Democrat Carolyn Long, a political science professor at Washington State University's campus in Vancouver.

    CANTWELL THE FAVORITE IN SENATE CONTEST

    Former state GOP chairwoman Susan Hutchison is challenging Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell, a three-term incumbent. Public polling has shown Cantwell with a comfortable lead as she seeks her fourth term.

    STATE LEGISLATURE

    All 98 seats in the state House are up for election, and voters will decide 25 of the Senate's 49 seats. While Democrats hold most statewide offices in Washington, the political split in the Legislature is much narrower: Democrats currently hold a one-seat advantage in the Senate and a two-seat advantage in the House.

    Democrats are hoping to expand their margins.

    SODA/GROCERY TAX

    Washington voters are deciding on a measure that would prohibit local governments from imposing new taxes on soda or grocery items.

    The measure, Initiative 1634, is a campaign funded almost entirely by the soda industry and as of Oct. 15 raised $20.21 million.

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