In the state’s most expensive and perhaps ugliest attorney general’s race, Democrat Bob Ferguson held a sizeable lead over Republican Reagan Dunn with 1.4 million votes cast.
Ferguson was leading 54 percent to Dunn’s 46 percent in initial returns.
The contest featured two rising political stars and showcased the importance of the open seat they’re seeking; outside partisan groups spent more than Ferguson and Dunn combined trying to influence the election.
Both Ferguson and Dunn are members of the Metropolitan King County Council, where they sit next to each other in chambers.
They even claim to like one another — at least that’s what they said at the start of a campaign later rife with nasty, personal attacks.
The race to succeed Rob McKenna and become the state’s 18th attorney general got off to a pugnacious start with its first televised debate in June. Dunn went on the offensive in his introductory statement, stressing his crime-fighting experience as a federal prosecutor, a credential Ferguson lacks.
Ferguson countered by pointing out the attorney general’s job is focused mostly on civil, not criminal law. He noted he had more experience than Dunn in civil law.
In the August primary, Ferguson won 52 percent of the vote and called the result a “dream start” for his campaign. It soon turned into something else.