Eight days after the general election, Kent Republican Bill Boyce congratulated Kent Democrat Claudia Kauffman on her win over him for the 47th Legislative District Senate seat.
“Unfortunately, it has become clear that Claudia Kauffman is the likely winner of this election,” Boyce said in a Nov. 16 Facebook post. “I offer her my congratulations and best wishes for success in representing the 47th District.”
Boyce held out hope on election night Nov. 8 and the following days that more votes would swing his way, but the results didn’t change much despite more ballots being counted by King County Elections.
Kauffman received 52.68% (25,270 votes) of the vote while Boyce had 47.21% (22,648 votes), according to King County Elections on Nov. 15. Officials will certify the election on Nov. 29.
“I want to thank you all for the encouragement, volunteers and donations in support of my campaign,” Boyce said. “Though the election did not turn out in our favor there are not enough ways to convey my gratitude and appreciation to everyone who supported me.”
Boyce, president of the Kent City Council, said he still has plenty of work to do.
“My time as a public servant for our community is not over, however,” he said. “I will continue the good work of the Kent City Council, and work tirelessly to address the issues that our constituents face.”
Voters first elected Boyce to the council in 2011 when he defeated incumbent Debbie Raplee. He resigned after 16 years on the Kent School Board to devote his time to the council. Boyce ran unopposed for the council in 2015 and defeated Mizan Rahman in 2019 for another four-year term. He lost a council race in 2003 when he challenged Les Thomas, who remains on the council.
Republicans poured plenty of money into Boyce’s campaign to replace State Sen. Mona Das, D-Kent, who decided after four years not to seek reelection. He raised $531,120 and spent $512,293, according to the state Public Disclosure Commission.
Kauffman raised $414,965 and spent $385,319, making the campaign one of the most expensive legislative races in the state.
Kauffman was the 47th District senator from 2007 to 2010 prior to losing to Auburn Republican Joe Fain in 2010. Das narrowly defeated Fain in 2018.
The 47th District includes all of Covington and parts of Kent and Auburn.