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Haigh, Finn lead in 35th District races
By CHARLES MELTON
BREMERTON -- State Rep. Kathy Haigh breezed through the Aug. 19 primary for the 35th Legislative District, while Marco Brown didn't emerge as the No. 2 vote-getter until the final results were released.
Haigh, a Democrat, appears headed for her sixth two-year term and led Brown by a 10,223 to 7,281 vote margin after Tuesday night's initial returns.
"It feels great and it's a great time for Democrats, since Barack Obama is going to be our next president and it looks like the governor is going to retain her seat," Haigh said.
While thrilled to be re-elected, Haigh said the upcoming legislative session is going to be challenging especially from a budget perspective.
"We're going to have to make some tough decisions, and hopefully we'll use a scalpel knife rather than a hatchet," Haigh said.
In the other 35th District state representative's race, Democrat Fred Finn had an early lead over Republican Randy Neatherlin.
Finn, who received the endorsement of former 35th District state Rep. William "Ike" Eichmeyer, won the Aug. 19 primary by less than 1,200 votes in a crowded four-candidate primary.
Tuesday night, Finn held a slim 9,304 to 8,121 vote lead over Neatherlin in the initial returns.
"We're very pleased right now, but it's not over till it's over," Finn said. "It's going to be a long night."
Like Haigh, Finn agreed the No. 1 issue facing the state Legislature in the upcoming session is going to be the budget.
"How do we balance the budget and take care of things like education, cleaning up Hood Canal and providing jobs," Finn said.
The final results are expected Friday afternoon.