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The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

August 7, 2012 at 9:54 PM

Democratic Party chair: Governor’s race will be a squeaker

Jay Inslee greets volunteers and supporters at Democratic Headquarters on primary election night (Mark Harrison / The Seattle Times).

Volunteers for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee – and the candidate himself – were ecstatic during a primary night celebration Tuesday, but party officials cautioned that the real campaign is only just beginning.

Inslee, a former congressman, had planned to leave his campaign headquarters shortly after the results were announced. But after performing well, he stuck around, working the building’s basement to exchange high fives and handshakes with supporters and bang on a large white drum emblazoned with his first name.

“We’re going to win this in November,” he told the more than 100 assembled volunteers.

Meanwhile, upstairs, state party chairman Dwight Pelz said, “look, we know we have three months to go. It’s going to be a very close election.”

Pelz did say he was happy with the results, however.

Sterling Clifford, a spokesman for the Inslee campaign, agreed with Pelz.

“We have a very close race,” he said.

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