OLYMPIA — Incumbent Gov. Jay Inslee was leading challenger Bill Bryant in early election returns Tuesday in the all-mail contest that likely won’t be decided until later this week.
At 9:30 p.m., Inslee, a Democrat, held a lead over Bryant, a Yakima Republican, with 2,002,702 votes, or 46.91 percent of the ballots mailed, counted.
More voters have registered to vote in Washington state — 4,268,854 — than ever before. It’s the first time the number has exceeded 4.2 million. Secretary of State Kim Wyman predicts an 84 percent turnout for the general election.
All nine statewide offices were on the ballot this election, as well as three hotly contested state Supreme Court seats and raft of state measures.
In the hotly contested Supreme Court races, incumbents were leading in the early count.
Chief Justice Barbara Madsen of Pierce County is challenged by Greg Zempel, Kittitas County prosecutor.
Mary Yu of Seattle and Olympia is challenged by David DeWolf of Spokane, who is retired as a professor at Gonzaga University Law School.
Charles Wiggins of Bainbridge Island is vying against Dave Larson, Federal Way judge.
In the race for the lieutenant governor, from which longtime incumbent Brad Owen, a Democrat, is retiring, Cyrus Habib, a Seattle Democrat now serving as state Senator for District 48, was leading Gig Harbor Republican Marty McClendon. A real estate agent and radio talk show host, McClendon ran for the Washington State Senate District Seat 26 in 2010 and was defeated by Derek Kilmer, who now represents the 6th Congressional District.
The lieutenant governor serves as the president of the state Senate. It has been held by only three people since 1957.
In other races without incumbents:
Whoever wins the seat, the state Treasurer’s office will be held by a Republican for the first time since 1957 since both contenders for the post vacated by incumbent Jim McIntire, a Democrat, are members of the GOP.
Duane Davidson, a Benton County treasurer, held a commanding lead in early returns over Michael Waite, a Seattle resident and senior vice president at Bentail Kennedy.
The race for state Auditor also lacks an incumbent. Auditor Troy Kelley, a Democrat — who is facing a retrial next spring on fraud charges, is not seeking re-election.
Democrat Pat McCarthy, Pierce County executive and a Tacoma Democrat, forged an early lead against Mark Miloscia, District 30 state Senator and a Federal Way Republican, for state Auditor.
Hilary Franz, a Seattle Democrat and an environmental attorney, garnered a higher margin of votes in the early count for Commissioner of Public Lands than Steve McLaughlin, a Seabeck Republican and retired Navy commander. The present office-holder, Peter Goldmark, is not running for re-election.
In the contest for Superintendent of Public Instruction, Chris Reykdal of Tumwater who represents District 22 in the state House of Representatives, held a narrow lead over Erin Jones of Seattle, a teacher who was selected as one of 10 White House Champions of Change for Educational Excellence for African Americans in 2013.
Incumbent Randy Dorn decided against running for a third term.
In races with incumbents:
Secretary of State incumbent Wyman, a Republican, held a firm lead in early returns over challenger Tina Podlodowski, a Seattle Democrat, who is a former Microsoft executive and Seattle City Council member.
Incumbent Bob Ferguson, a Democrat, was leading in early returns in his bid for a second term as state Attorney General against Seattle attorney Joshua Trumbull, a Libertarian.
Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler, a Democrat, held a healthy lead over Richard Shrock, a Lake Stickney Republican who served as the director of the state Department of Commerce from 1981-85.