OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna is conceding defeat.
Campaign manager Randy Pepple told reporters Friday night that McKenna called Democrat Jay Inslee to congratulate him. Inslee had steadily held a 51 percent advantage in the race as ballots were counted this week.
The decision brings to end one of the most watched, most expensive gubernatorial races in the country. The two candidates and outside political groups raised and spent some $40 million in the race.
McKenna had portrayed himself as a moderate with a plan to increase funding for education. Inslee had touted his plans to spur job growth by investing in clean energy and other specific sectors.
Both candidates vowed to not raise taxes. Those policies will be put to the test in January, when lawmakers begin negotiations over how to deal with a budget shortfall and the need for more education funding.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 1:00 PM EDT2013-05-21 17:00:51 GMT
BREAKING NEWS - The Medical Examiner's Office has revised the death toll in the Moore, Oklahoma tornado from 91 people to at least 24 people.>>
UPDATE: Originally the death toll was reported to be 91 people and counting, however, the Medical examiner's office revised the death toll from the Oklahoma tornado to at least 24 people. A spokeswoman said Tuesday morning that she believes some victims were counted twice in the early chaos of the storm.>>