2012 Election

Hilyer Loses Ground in Supreme Court Race, but King County Still Largely Uncounted

By Erica C. Barnett August 9, 2012

King County Superior Court justice Bruce Hilyer, one of four candidates who ran to succeed retiring State Supreme Court Justice Tom Chambers, ended the afternoon today still in third place with a slightly larger percentage of the vote than he had yesterday---26.68 percent to yesterday's 26.3 percent.

Unfortunately for Hilyer (and his liberal fan base), former Supreme Court justice Richard Sanders---ousted by Charlie Wiggins in 2010 after voting against gay rights, saying black people have a "crime problem," and suggesting that a 13-year-old who was raped by her 26-year-old teacher "seduced" him---also pulled ahead, and is now at 27.87 percent (compared to yesterday's 27.2 percent).

Both are trailing first-place finisher Sheryl McCloud, who has 30.22 percent of the vote.

However, those numbers come with one big caveat: King County, where Hilyer is leading with 41.53 percent of the vote (to McCloud's 25.6 percent and Sanders' 20.73 percent) has only counted 28 percent of its ballots, lower than the percentage of votes counted in all but nine of the state's 39 counties.

Hilyer, by the way, is only winning in King County; Sanders and McCloud carried the rest of the state with the exception of Pierce County, where former Pierce County executive John Ladenburg has the lead:

Secretary of State Sam Reed predicted on election day that King County's turnout would be around 50 percent, higher than his 46 percent prediction for the rest of the state. Even assuming that prediction for King County, like Reed's prediction for the state, was too high, there are still tens of thousands of King County ballots waiting to be counted. So don't count Hilyer out just yet.

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