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Mitzi Johanknecht widens lead over incumbent Urquhart in King County sheriff’s race

SEATTLE — Mitzi Johanknecht on Wednesday widened her lead over incumbent John Urquhart for King County sheriff.

With a second round of ballots counted Wednesday, Johanknecht  had 52.6% of the votes compared to Urquhart’s 47.4% (159,129 votes to 143,343).  She had led 51.8% to 48.2% after the initial votes were counted Tuesday night.

During the campaign, Johanknecht, a 32-year King County Sheriff’s Office veteran, accused Urquhart of mistreating employees as sheriff. He denied that, saying the attacks came because he had imposed tough new standards in the Sheriff's Office.

Urquhart has been with the Sheriff’s Office for nearly 30 years. He became sheriff after a special election for the open seat in 2012. He faced no challengers in the general election for the seat in 2013, winning a four-year term.

Johanknecht serves as the major in charge of the sheriff's Southwest Precinct in Burien.

Tuesday night, after the first votes came in, Urquhart said he was not conceding his re-election race, but added that he was disappointed in the early numbers.