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Inslee wins 1st Congressional District race again

Democratic incumbent Jay Inslee appears poised to head back to Washington, D.C., representing the state's 1st Representative District with 55 percent (82,204) compared to Republican James Watkins 44 percent (65,386) of the 147,590 votes counted, according to early election results.

It was Inslee's eighth consecutive victory in the 1st District.

"These are big numbers on a tough night and it's very gratifying to me," Inslee said. "I'm excited to go back there and forge bipartisan consensus to move our clean energy economy forward and to improve the education of our kids to find those solutions."

Going back to Washington will mean working with new faces for the Bainbridge Island resident as the Republican party appears headed for a majority in the House of Representatives.

"To be honest, this is very personal. A lot of the people I work closely with won't be there next year and we are losing several big hitters on the congressional team, so that's going to hurt," said Inslee.

"I hope there is room for bipartisan progress," he added. "We hope the majority party doesn't continue down the path that Republican Mr. McConnell said of having a main goal to make sure Mr. Obama is a one-term president. We need other goals than that to find bipartisan solutions and I hope that's the attitude that will prevail, and his words were just campaign talk."

Watkins said he was disappointed with the results, but was encouraged by the margin of victory being narrowed from the primary when Inslee won with 68 percent of the vote.

"I think I ran a good campaign and my volunteers were fabulous, but I was running against a 14-year incumbent," said the Redmond resident. "Clearly, I wish I would have had about 20,000 more votes than I received."

The totals will continue to be updated as votes are counted over the next several days.

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