Democrats appear to have captured the last GOP legislative holdout on the West Coast

Washington state Senate candidate Manka Dhingra
(Image credit: AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Democrat Manka Dhingra, a deputy prosecutor for Washington's King County, had a 10-point lead Tuesday night over Republican Jinyoung Lee Englund in a suburban Seattle district that will determine the balance of power in the Washington state Senate. If Dhingra wins the seat, left empty when Republican state Sen. Andy Hill died, control of the state Senate will flip to the Democrats, who already hold the governor's mansion and narrowly control the state House. In Oregon and California, as well as four other states, Democrats control both branches of the legislature and the governor's seat, and if Dhingra's lead holds, Republicans won't control a single legislative chamber on the West Coast. (The GOP controls the entire state government in 26 states, CNN notes.)

Because of the stakes, the contest became the most expensive legislative race in Washington history, with the candidates and outside groups spending more than $8.7 million; about $5.9 million of that was from the outside groups, ranging from oil companies and unions to Koch Industries and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Dhingra was born in India, while Englund is Korean-American. Washington's mail-in ballot system means the final results won't be known for days, and England has not conceded the race.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us
Peter Weber, The Week US

Peter has worked as a news and culture writer and editor at The Week since the site's launch in 2008. He covers politics, world affairs, religion and cultural currents. His journalism career began as a copy editor at a financial newswire and has included editorial positions at The New York Times Magazine, Facts on File, and Oregon State University.