Democrat Jay Inslee wins Washington governor’s race

November 9, 2012

Former congressman Jay Inslee (D) was declared the winner of the Washington state governor's race on Friday night, handing Democrats their third win in the three most competitive gubernatorial races in 2012.

Inslee led state Attorney General Rob McKenna (R) 50.7 percent to 49.3 percent with 80 percent of precincts reporting. AP has called the race in Inslee's favor.

McKenna has conceded, according to reports.


Washington Gov.-elect Jay Inslee (D). (AP photo)

The Democratic Governors Association has now won all three "tossup" races among the 11 states holding governor's races this year, also holding seats in New Hampshire and Montana.

Democrats were unable to hold their seat in North Carolina, though, where former Charlotte mayor Pat McCrory (R) beat Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton (D) handily on Tuesday.

Almost all of the competitive races on Tuesday were in Democratic-held states, meaning the GOP winds up with a one-seat gain for the year. But despite several opportunities for gains, including in West Virginia and Missouri, Republicans were unable to break through and significantly expand their ranks.

Still, they now hold 30 of the 50 governorships, while Democrats hold 19 and one is held by independent Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee.

McKenna was a highly touted GOP recruit in a blue state, and polling throughout the race was tight.

Inslee will succeed Gov. Chris Gregoire (D), who opted not to run for a third term.

2013 will feature two governor's races in New Jersey and Virginia, both of which are held by Republicans.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix, the Post’s top political blog.
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