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Embattled state Sen. Fain concedes; Dems looking at gains in Legislature

SEATTLE — Democrats will pick up seats in the Washington state Legislature after Tuesday’s election but the exact number remains unclear with a handful of races still too close to call.

In the Senate, party officials were watching several races Friday, including one involving Joe Fain of Auburn, a member of Senate Republican Leadership running for re-election under the cloud of a rape allegation he denies.

Fain conceded the race Friday evening when the latest returns showed Democratic challenger Mona Das had extended her lead to 548 votes.

In September, Seattle resident Candace Faber tweeted that Fain raped her in 2007, on the night she graduated from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Fain, who has denied the allegation, was not in office at the time at the time of the alleged assault. Faber said she was inspired to publicly speak out as she watched the televised allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

In an email, Faber said she was glad to hear that the Senate was taking steps to investigate, but she said that regardless of whether or not Fain is re-elected, “this experience has made it clear that we do not have an adequate process for dealing with sexual abusers of any form outside of a criminal or workplace situation.

In the House, party officials were paying close attention to seven races where Democrats were looking to gain seats and were leading in recent returns.

While Democrats hold most statewide offices in Washington, the political split in the Legislature has been much narrower. Before Tuesday’s election Democrats held a two-seat advantage in the House and a one-seat advantage in the Senate.