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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Olympia

Big gains in state senate for Democrats…

The Democrats couldn't oust conservative Democrat Tim Sheldon, who periodically infuriates his caucus by voting with Republicans on key issues. Sheldon beat a party-backed challenger in the primary, and won against a Republican tonight by a landslide.

But Sheldon's swing-voter clout may have washed away in tonight's Democratic "tsunami," as losing Supreme Court candidate Stephen Johnson -- a Republican -- termed it.

If I'm counting preliminary election results correctly -- and hey, it's nearly midnight -- it looks like Democrats picked up half a dozen seats in the state Senate tonight. And two more Republican seats -- Dale Brandland's and Pam Roach's -- are being held as of this writing by only about 2 percentage points.

That would give the Democrats at least a 32-17 advantage in the Senate. And although the Senate prides itself on being the more deliberative, more collegial half of the legislature, with that kind of majority, the Ds can run the table.

Short takes and breaking news from the Washington Legislature and the state capital.