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"Dare, Ervin too close to call in 35th District"

"The only opposition Democratic State Rep. Kathy Haigh knows for certain she faces in November's 35th District Position 1 race is Libertarian candidate Marti Lewis.The battle for the Republican slot on the ballot is still raging between Wendy Ervin of Shelton and Frank Dare of Olympia as absentee ballots are being counted.It's a little too close to call, Haigh said Wednesday after results from Tuesday's primary gave Dare 18.45 percent overall with 4,103 votes, to Ervin's 17.88 percent and 3,976 votes.I think Frank's a real possibility as the Republican candidate, Haigh said. I know Frank a little better than I know Wendy. Dare and Ervin also said the race is too close to call, though both are confident of ultimate victory.Ervin said that of more than 12,000 absentee ballots mailed out in Mason County, only 6,282 have been counted. She said only about 1,000, with Dare leading her by 550 votes, have been counted in the Gray's Harbor portion of the 35th District. The district includes all of Mason County, and parts of Kitsap, Grays Harbor and Thurston counties.Ervin said she was ahead of Dare in Mason County so far, while Dare held the lead in Kitsap County.She said if she's certified as the winner, she plans to continue campaigning on her pledge to represent the people of the 35th District, rather than partisan interests.Dare believes his strong showing in Kitsap might be due in part to publicity about his firing from the Department of Social and Health Services earlier this month because of his candidacy, which DSHS officials said violates the Hatch Act. Dare also attributed his Kitsap lead to an endorsement from The Sun newspaper of Bremerton.My best guess is it's because the news media was good to me, and I made a good showing at the candidate forum held by The Sun. I think I (also) got the military vote because I'm retired military, Dare speculated.Dare stressed the spirit of nonpartisanship he hopes to promote in the Legislature by saying that the last thing he did Tuesday after leaving his post was to go by Wendy and wish her luck.Kitsap County Auditor Karen Flynn said the election for the Republican candidate just might go down to the wire. For the primary, that's Oct. 10, when results will be certified.We got a large number of (absentee) ballots Wednesday, she said, and her office was expected to county another 15,000 by yesterday. Those results were released after the Reporter went to press. Her office sent out 76,117 absentee ballots to the county's 128,488 registered voters for this election, Flynn said. Ballots postmarked Tuesday, Sept. 19, will continue to straggle in for a while, she noted.One result that is known is that Libertarian candidate Marti Lewis of Olympia garnered 5.52 percent of the overall total with 1,228 votes. "

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