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Democrat Dhingra leads Republican Englund in race that likely will decide if GOP keeps control of state Senate

UPDATED: Tue., Aug. 1, 2017

With control of the state Senate at stake, a Democratic political newcomer leads a Republican political newcomer in a suburban King County district destined to be the most expensive in state history.

Democrat Manka Dhingra finished Tuesday night’s ballot county slightly more than 50 percent of the votes cast, nearly 1,900 votes ahead of Republican Jinyoung Lee Englund. Independent Parker Harris finished a distant third, with less than 7 percent of the vote.

The race is one of a handful around the state needed to fill a seat that became vacant in the last year. In this case, the winner will take the place of Sen. Andy Hill, R-Redmond, who died last fall of cancer.

Dhingra, an Indian-American, is a senior deputy prosecutor in King County who supervises the Regional Mental Health Court and oversees the Veterans Court. Englund, a daughter of Korean immigrants, is a former member of the leadership staff for U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and served on the Republican National Committee’s Asian Pacific Americans advisory committee.

If Englund wins, Republicans will remain in control of the Senate’s Majority Coalition Caucus with their one-seat margin. If Dhingra wins, however, Democrats will have a one-seat majority and control the chamber.

Between the candidates and independent groups supporting or opposing them, some $3.1 million has already been raised in the race.

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