OLYMPIA -- The special election to fill a 9th District legislative seat will pit Republican against Republican.
The recount of the primary votes in the Southeast Washington district confirmed that former Franklin County Sheriff Richard Lathim finished with a 47-vote lead over Democrat Ken Caylor for the second spot on the November ballot.
Republican Mary Dye, who was appointed to the position last spring after incumbent Rep. Susan Fagan, R-Pullman, resigned, finished first with about 48 percent of the vote. Caylor finished slightly ahead in the election night count, but Lathim passed him in the final tally as elections offices in the six-county district tabulated ballots mailed or dropped off close to the election.
Under the state's top two primary system, candidates state a party preference but do not run as a designated party member. The two candidates with the most votes in the primary continue on to the general, regardless of party preference. The 9th Legislative District is a solidly Republican district which last elected a Democrat to a legislative seat in 1977.