Hargrove expects to keep lead over Sizemore in tight legislative race
By STEVE HUNTER
Kent Reporter Courts, government reporter
November 16, 2012 · Updated 4:40 PM
Kent Democratic challenger Bud Sizemore continued to hold on to a chance he might overtake State Rep. Mark Hargrove, R-Covington, in what remained a tight race for the State House District 47 Position 1 seat.
But Hargrove remained confident he could maintain his lead and earn a return trip to Olympia for a second, two-year term.
Hargrove leads by 364 votes through Friday's tally by King County Elections.
Hargrove has 50.29 percent (26,098 votes) while Sizemore has 49.59 percent (25,734 votes). There were 59 write-in votes for 0.1 percent.
"Not knowing how many ballots are left in the 47th District, it's too early to throw in the towel," said Sizemore during a Tuesday phone interview. "There is still potential to close the gap. It's an incredibly close race."
Close, but still in Hargrove's favor.
"I feel pretty confident," Hargrove said during a Tuesday phone interview. "The trend shifted the first few days but I think that was an aberration. Now it's been more typical and I think it's going in the right direction."
Sizemore, a Kent firefighter and former Covington City councilman, expected by Friday he would know if he still had a shot to win.
"I would hope by the end of the week (Nov. 16)," he said about when the outcome could be decided.
King County Elections will update results each weekday afternoon until the election is certified Nov. 27.
As of Tuesday, the race wasn't close enough to trigger a recount.
Any office must be recounted by machine when the difference between two candidates is less than 2,000 votes and less than .50 percent, according to the King County Elections website at www.kingcounty.gov/elections.
Offices must be recounted by hand if the difference between two candidates is less than 1,000 votes and less than 0.25 percent.
Hargrove, a Boeing instructor pilot and Air Force veteran, led by just 91 votes over Sizemore when the first results were released on election night Nov. 6.
"I felt we ran a great campaign for someone who has never run for legislative office before and to be this close and who may overtake the lead," Sizemore said.
Hargorve said the Democratic party came after him as a freshman representative, so he expected it might be a tight race.
"They thought they could take the seat back," said Hargrove, who in 2010 defeated Geoff Simpson, a Democrat who had served in the House for 10 years. "Some argued that as a freshman I might be more susceptible."
If he holds on to the lead, Hargrove said he hopes his experience pays off during a second term as he focuses on education and transportation issues.
"I'd like to think it will make it easier to accomplish things," he said.Contact Kent Reporter Courts, government reporter Steve Hunter at email@example.com or 253-872-6600, ext. 5052.