SPOKANE, Wash. - While there are more ballots left to be counted in Spokane County, several races for local legislators are starting to firm up Tuesday night.
At the Republican Party event down at the Davenport Hotel in downtown Spokane, election night offered a mixed night for the GOP, with celebrations for a number of local legislators. Hundreds of Republican supporters joined local candidates for the watch party.
In the battle for the State House District 4, Position 2, a race that was filled with controversy and personal attacks, Republican incumbent Matt Shea hangs onto his seat, winning against Democrat Amy Biviano by 13-percent.Local races vo
"I think the people saw through a lot of what was going on there with the negative campaigning, we made a conscious decision to stay positive in our campaign and talk about the issues and that's what people care about in Spokane Valley," Shea said.
While Shea held off a determined attack by Biviano, Spokane City Councilwoman Nancy McLaughlin did not fare as well in her bid for the state senate. In the race for State Senate in District 3, Democrat Andy Billig is up by 16-percent over McLaughlin. Approximately 6,000 votes separate the two for the seat, which has gone to a Democrat for the last 20 years.
"It feels great and I am just so grateful and humbled by the results and appreciate the voters of Spokane having confidence in me," Billig said.
Billig was elected to the state house in 2010 and he says he's ready to get to work again for the people of Spokane.
One Republican candidate the gathered supporters had no doubt about was Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rogers, who has held her position in Congress since 2005. She was up against Democrat Rich Cowan, and handily retained her seat, up 22-percent over Cowan.
"You never take it for granted, running every two years it keeps you close to people and it's good to come and just travel our district and touch base with people in these communities," McMorris Rodgers said.
However, when President Barack Obama was declared the winner, there was very little reaction out of the crowd; many said they felt that result was coming.
The Spokane County commission will likely stay all-Republican according to Tuesday night numbers. Republican Al French is not up for re-election this year, and will likely be working with Republican incumbent commissioner Todd Mielke, who is leading former commissioner John Roskelley right now by about 7-percent.
For County Commissioner District 2, Republican Shelly O'Quinn is leading Democrat Daryl Romeyn by about 9-percent
Spokane County still has more ballots to count and plans to do its next update Wednesday night at 6 p.m.
Over at the Democrat Party event at the Red Lion Inn at the Park, supporters were ecstatic when President Obama was re-elected, but also with Jay Inslee leading the governor's race.
Several times during the night the audience went crazy as results from both the national, state and local races came in. Democrats were disappointed that Rich Cowan lost his race against McMorris Rodgers for the 5th Congressional District seat.
"We were out spent five to one, you know, we got to build on that, we had so many great people and so many great volunteers and the cooperation was just amazing, all the people in all the different counties," Cowan said.
When asked about his political future, Cowan said this is just the beginning and he suspects this won't be his last time running office.