Four years after their first race ended bitterly in court, Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire was pulling away from GOP challenger Dino Rossi in late counting Tuesday night.
At 1 a.m., Gregoire had a 7 percentage point edge over Rossi in counted votes. Earlier in the night, state election director Nick Handy said the race remained too close to declare a winner.
"We think things are looking very good for us," Gregoire spokesman Aaron Toso said before the governor addressed her supporters late in the evening. "We're feeling great about tonight. ... There was a lot of momentum this last month and it carried to Election Day."
Gregoire then told supporters that the networks had called the race, but she did not explicitly claim victory.
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Rossi's campaign did not immediately respond to questions, but issued a statement saying it "simply does not feel that we are in a position to know who will win." The statement noted that in 2004 and in the primary this year, late-cast ballots trended toward Rossi.
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