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Lantz, Kilmer lead 26th District races Lantz, Kilmer lead 26th Distrct races

With Democratic incumbent Pat Lantz and fellow party-member Derek Kilmer leading in the polls Thusday, it looks as if the 26th District will send two “blues” back to the state House of Representatives where before there had been only one.

As of Thursday at 5 p.m. the Office of the Secretary of State showed that in Kitsap County, Democratic incumbent Pat Lantz had 12,598 votes, leading Republican candidate Matt Rice, who had 10,689 votes, by 1,909 votes. Libertarian Ted Haley took 763 votes in Kitsap County.

Kilmer, with 12,543 votes, led his race against Republican incumbent Lois McMahan, who had 11,032 votes, with Libertarian Ed Jurkovskis taking 563 votes.

However, since the 26th Legislative District includes parts of both Kitsap and Pierce Counties, both counties’ official tallies must be added together to produce the winners.

With the combined 26th District votes, the races were much closer.

Lantz, with 22,603 votes, led Rice, with 22,132 by 471 votes, or 1.03 percent.

Haley polled 1,212 votes, or 2.63 percent.

Kilmer, with 22,846 votes, led McMahan, with 22,084, by 762 votes, or 1.66 percent, with Jurkovskis taking 920 votes, or 2 percent.

“We are still cautiously hopeful,” Kilmer said. “There’s still ballots to be (counted.) We definitely worked hard for it and I definitely am hopeful, but cautiously hopeful.”

Kilmer, who said he is going on vacation to England after the official numbers come in, said the past seven months have been hectic, but also “an extraordinary and eye-opening experience.

“You spend the bulk of your time as a candidate talking to people,” he said. “It’s a very individual experience, and then as things get closer there are more and more people that get involved.”

Kilmer said he personally knocked on close to 15,000 doors over the course of his campaign. His volunteers, he said, knocked on more than 10,000.

“I’m overwhelmingly grateful for our volunteers,” Kilmer said. “I don’t know that you can expect that sort of support ever...you hope for it.”

When asked if he was elected what his first six months in Olympia would look like, Kilmer was vague, laughingly refused to jinx his potential victory.

“I spent the entire campaign taking about the issues that were most important to people in our community,” he said. “If this pans out and we are successful, our hope is to focus on our priorities.”

Lantz shared a different sentiment.

“It’s deja vu,” Lantz said. “I’ve been here before. It’s always been close and I always do better in Kitsap County than in Pierce.”

In light of what she describes as a “vicious campaign against me,” Lantz is also taking vacation and is preparing to travel to Africa.

“(The campaign) takes its toll,” Lantz said.

Rice and McMahan were unavailable for comment as of press time.

For more information or to view current results visit the Office of the Secretary of State’s website at www.secstate.wa.gov/elections.

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