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Originally published November 7, 2012 at 9:13 PM | Page modified November 7, 2012 at 9:35 PM

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Bob Ferguson to be state's attorney general

Bob Ferguson will become the state's 18th attorney general. The Associated Press declared Democrat Ferguson the winner after additional votes were counted Wednesday.

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Good news. Ferguson is smart, decent and hard working ... not unlike a young Rob... MORE
I think that nasty ad by Dunn portraying Bob as some sort of monster for doing his job... MORE
C'mon, it had nothing to do with the ads and everything to do with the party. If Dunn... MORE

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Bob Ferguson will become the state's 18th attorney general.

The Associated Press declared Democrat Ferguson the winner after additional votes were counted Wednesday and Ferguson maintained his nearly 6 percentage point lead over Republican Reagan Dunn, a fellow Metropolitan King County Council member.

It would take a dramatic reversal of the tally so far for Dunn to pull out a victory.

Trailing by 114,000 votes statewide, Dunn would need to capture 55.7 percent of the 1 million estimated remaining ballots, a Seattle Times analysis found. He was getting 47.2 percent.

If the vote split in King County stays the same, Dunn would need 67 percent of the estimated remaining votes outside King County to pull even. He was getting 52 percent outside King County on Tuesday.

Dunn wasn't ready to concede Wednesday night, saying he needed to look at turnout statistics in more detail.

Ferguson said he was confident he would win. "But I'm not in a rush to declare anything," he said Wednesday night. "We're having a nice family dinner."

Ferguson and Dunn sit side by side in council chambers and have said they like and respect one another. Ferguson said that remains true despite the bruising campaign.

Several other races in our state were either decided in the latest vote counting — or remained too close to call.

A quick update of key contests.

Charter schools

Initiative 1240, the statewide measure allowing charter schools, remained in positive vote territory but was too close to call Wednesday night, 51 to 49 percent.

Voters in King, Jefferson, Whatcom and several other counties were opposing the state's fourth attempt to allow charter schools. The measure was faring pretty well in counties such as Snohomish, Clark and Pierce, but the overall favorable numbers softened slightly between Tuesday and Wednesday's vote count.

The No on 1240 campaign was heavily outspent by the yes side.

Lieutenant governor

Republican Bill Finkbeiner Wednesday conceded the race to the longtime incumbent, Democrat Brad Owen. Owen was leading former state Senate Republican Leader Finkbeiner by about 54 percent to 46 percent in Wednesday's vote tally.

"The voters have chosen to keep Brad Owen in as the lieutenant governor. I have a lot of respect for Brad," Finkbeiner said in a statement. "He cares about the Legislature, presides fairly over the Senate and is a dedicated public servant."

Owen has been lieutenant governor since 1997.

State auditor

This was a bitter contest between two strident candidates, Democrat Troy Kelley and Republican James Watkins. On election night, Kelly, a state representative from Pierce County, was leading by a vote of 52.4 to 47.6 percent. Wednesday's returns were pretty much the same. Kelley is likely to win.

Secretary of state

One of the closest races of all is the one to replace Republican Secretary of State Sam Reed. Republican Kim Wyman, who like Reed served as Thurston County auditor, may be the GOP's best hope for statewide officeholder at this point.

Wyman was leading Democrat Kathleen Drew by a whisker, 50.6 to 49.4 percent, following Wednesday's vote tallies.

10th Congressional District

Democrat Denny Heck beat Republican challenger Richard Muri to represent the newly created 10th Congressional District, centered in the Olympia area. Heck led Muri 58 to 42 percent.

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