James Watkins, the Republican candidate for state auditor, conceded the race to Democratic Rep. Troy Kelley on Friday.
“It does not appear that I will prevail in my run for State Auditor,” Watkins said in a statement. “It is my sincere hope that Troy Kelley has a successful term and capably fills the vacuum left by Brian Sonntag.”
Sonntag, the current state auditor, is retiring.
Kelley, D-University Place, was ahead of Watkins, 52 to 48 percent, in Thursday’s vote.
The auditor’s office conducts financial and legal compliance audits of state and local government, and also tries to find efficiencies in state government.