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WA elex: Wilhite, McCaslin likely in 4th Lege general

Bob McCaslin and Diana Wilhite may have ended the legislative career of Leonard Christian tonight.

In a three-way Republican race, McCaslin, a teacher, and Wilhite, the former Spokane Valley mayor, were running comfortably ahead of Christian, who was appointed by Spokane County commissioners to fill the seat of Rep. Larry Crouse, who retired this year for health reasons.

Christian served in the 2014 session, but probably had the least name recognition of the three. McCaslin is the son of longtime state Sen. Bob McCaslin, and Wilhite has been active in local and party politics for many years.

In tonight's returns, McCaslin has 44 percent of the vote and Wilhite 31 percent. Christian trails with 24 percent, some 1,500 votes behind Wilhite.

Under the state's top two primary system, the candidate with the most and second most votes advance to the general election regardless of party. No Democrats filed for the office.

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The Spokesman-Review's political team keeps a critical eye on local, state and national politics.