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Senate majority hangs on tight race

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AngelTACOMA — The race to fill Congressman Derek Kilmer’s seat in the Washington state Senate was too close too call Tuesday night, drawing out the most expensive Legislative race in state history just a tad longer.

Jan Angel (R- Port Orchard) held a slight lead over Nathan Schlicher (D- Gig Harbor) Tuesday night in the special election to fill freshman Congressman’s Kilmer’s seat in the state’s 26th Legislative District that represents parts of Pierce and Kitsap Counties.

Angel held 51.4 percent of the vote to Schlicher’s 48.6 percent Tuesday night, with 27,570 votes counted. But Schlicher was by no means conceding, the Tacoma News Tribune reported, saying late ballots typically tend to trend Democrat.

“By no means is it over, and we’re excited to see where it goes,” Schlicher told the News Tribune.

Schlicher was appointed to Kilmer’s vacated seat in January. State Democrats and Republicans poured a lot of money into the race, as Republicans maintain a 1-vote lead as the Senate Majority Coalition, and a shift the other way could greatly affect bargaining power. According to the Tribune, both candidates spent nearly #3 million on campaigning.

A win for Schlicher would mean a divided Senate and a fight for each vote moving into the 2014 Legislative Session.

Updated election numbers were expected around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.

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