Update at 8:40 p.m.
Early returns from Pierce and Kitsap counties showed GOP state Rep. Jan Angel and Democratic state Sen. Nathan Schlicher separated by only a few hundred votes. This race will take awhile to call.
Voters today will decide between state Rep. Jan Angel, a Republican, and state Sen. Nathan Schlicher, a Democrat, in a key race for the 26th District Senate seat, U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer’s old seat in the state Legislature.
Both parties view the seat as crucial to control of the Senate in the 2014 elections. Republicans, with the help of two Democrats who crossed party lines, control the Senate with a narrow 25-to-24 vote majority. They want to increase their buffer, while Democrats want to retain the seat hoping it will help them regain control next year.
More than $2.8 million flowed into the race, setting a new state record and fueling an intense advertising campaign.