Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee has defeated Republican challenger Bill Bryant to win re-election.
Inslee was leading in early vote returns Tuesday. Inslee, a former long-time congressman, touted his environmental record throughout the campaign. He said the state is requiring the biggest polluters to reduce emissions and is promoting alternative energy.
Bryant, a former Seattle Port commissioner, sharply criticized Inslee in the months leading up to the November election. He said Inslee had mismanaged state departments, especially the state's mental health system. He also said Inslee had failed to come up with a plan to fund K-12 education, as mandated by the state Supreme Court.
The state Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that the way Washington pays for education is unconstitutional, in part because of an overreliance on local dollars to pay expenses that should be covered by the state budget. The court gave the Legislature until 2018 to fix the problem.
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