Washington voters to decide balance of power in Legislature

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Voters in the suburbs east of Seattle will determine whether the Washington state Senate will remain the only Republican-led legislative chamber on the West Coast.

Tuesday’s race for the 45th District is one of eight special elections for the state Legislature this year, but it’s the only open seat and has broken all previous legislative spending records in the state because of the significance of the outcome.

Republicans, with the help of a Democrat who caucuses with them, currently control the Senate by a single seat. If the Washington Senate flips, the state will join Oregon and California with Democratic one-party rule in both legislative chambers and the governor’s office.

Democrat Manka Dhingra and Republican Jinyoung Lee Englund are seeking to serve the last year of a four-year term left vacant by last year’s death of Republican Sen. Andy Hill.