Angel maintains lead in Washington Senate race



OLYMPIA — Republican Jan Angel increased her lead over Democrat Nathan Schlicher as counties updated their vote tallies for the Senate’s 26th District race.

Angel held a 52-48 percent lead over Schlicher Wednesday, increasing her lead from 770 votes on Tuesday to 1,237 after additional returns were posted by Kitsap and Pierce counties. Because Washington state votes by mail, counting will continue throughout the week as ballots keep on arriving.

A predominantly Republican Majority Coalition Caucus currently controls the Senate with the help of two Democrats, giving the majority caucus a one-vote advantage in the chamber, and Republicans hope to gain another seat to give their caucus more cushion heading into the 2014 election, when about half of the Senate will be up for re-election.

The race has been the most expensive legislative contest in state history, with combined spending of more than $2.9 million.