Rep. Troy Kelley leads a trio of Democratic lawmakers in early returns tonight in the race to succeed State Auditor Brian Sonntag.
The sole Republican, James Watkins of Redmond, has the overall lead as expected with 46 percent, followed by Kelley with 24 percent — threatening elimination for Vancouver Sen. Craig Pridemore (not far behind at 20 percent) and Federal Way Rep. Mark Miloscia (10 percent). All three are giving up their seats to run for auditor.
The top two vote-getters advance to the Nov. 6 general election.
Kelley, a Tacoma business owner, chipped in $240,000 of his own money and spent it largely on TV ads. The candidate has loaned $10,000 and contributed the rest of it outright.
Pridemore racked up endorsements from traditional Democratic-aligned groups and is the official nominee of the Democratic Party.