From The Associated Press:
Democrat Peter Goldmark has taken a slim lead in the race for Washington state lands commissioner.
The Okanogan rancher and molecular biologist is trying to unseat two-term incumbent Doug Sutherland, a Republican. Goldmark was up 50.6 percent to 49.4 percent early Wednesday, thanks to an extremely strong showing in King County.
During the campaign, Goldmark painted Sutherland as too cozy with the timber and mining industries. Sutherland played up his administrative credentials, saying he balanced industry and environmental interests while cutting the Department of Natural Resources by more than 300 employees, to fewer than 1,400.
The lands commissioner manages 5.6 million acres of state lands, with income generated by harvesting timber or leasing land to farmers being used to pay for construction of schools and other state expenses.