Early returns from King County pushed incumbent Justice Steve Gonzalez over the edge and appear almost certain to allow him to advance unopposed to the general election in November.
Gonzalez had been locked in a tight duel with challenger Bruce Danielson, leading 50 percent to 49 percent in early returns. But when King County results were added later in the evening, Gonzalez’s lead grew to 56 percent to 43 percent.
Candidates for justice who get more than 50 percent of the primary vote advance to the general election unopposed.
Justice Susan Owens also will retain her seat, earning 64 percent against two opponents.
But former Justice Richard Sanders, who was unseated in 2010, was still trailing Seattle appellate lawyer Sheryl Gordon McCloud, with King County Superior Court Judge Bruce Hilyer right behind.
While McCloud may advance to the general election, having earned 32 percent of the vote in their four-way race. But Sanders had 27 percent and Hilyer 26 percent. Former Pierce County Executive John Ladenburg, who had 15 percent.