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Originally published Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 1:40 PM

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Washington state Sen. Don Benton wins recount

State Sen. Don Benton has won his re-election bid by just 74 votes in a race that affects the balance of power in the Washington Legislature.

The Associated Press

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VANCOUVER, Wash. —

State Sen. Don Benton has won his re-election bid by just 74 votes in a race that affects the balance of power in the Washington Legislature.

A hand recount by the Clark County Elections Department shows the Vancouver Republican defeated Democratic challenger Tim Probst in the 17th District.

The Columbian reports ( http://is.gd/5k2ltx) another hand recount will be conducted Thursday in the close state House race in the 17th District between Democrat Monica Stonier and Republican Julie Olson. Stonier had a 139-vote lead after last month's election. Probst vacated that seat to challenge Benton.

Benton's victory leaves Democrats with a 26-23 Senate majority, but two Democrats have indicated they'll work with the GOP. The House is solidly Democratic.

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Information from: The Columbian, http://www.columbian.com

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