Dems still looking at gains in Washington Legislature

SEATTLE (AP) — 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 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.