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UPDATE: Haugen leads challengers in 10TH LD Senate race

Longtime Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen has taken an early and quite comfortable lead in the race for state Senator, 10th Legislative District.

District-wide, she's received more than 53 percent of 23,385 votes counted Tuesday night. In Island County, she got 52.71 percent, or 8,126 of the 15,417 votes counted.

"We feel very positive," Haugen said Tuesday night from her home on Camano where she hosted a primary party for friends and supporters.

Despite negative campaigns from the state Republican Party, voters supported her, Haugen said. Republicans have waged an aggressive campaign so far, and have raised unsubstantiated charges that she has used public funds to run her campaign, a claim Haugen has vigorously rejected.

"People don't appreciate this sort of thing in this district," she said.

But as a 26-year veteran, she knows that this isn't the end of it.

"There will be more," she said.

Republican challenger Linda Haddon, whose campaign focused on the central Whidbey ferry trouble, came in with roughly 42 percent state and county-wide.

She is happy to have clearly qualified for a spot on the ballot in November and she intends to close the gap.

"I am very determined to be the victor," Haddon said. "I am really pleased with this. I think this is close, after 26 years of having name recognition."

Haddon added that she will not take any breaks from campaigning.

She also said that she still has plenty of cash in her war chest to take on Haugen.

Haddon currently has $43,017 in available contributions. Haddon's campaign has been aided by ample support from in-kind donations, which have totaled almost half — $50,973 — of her total contributions.

Much of that support has come from state Republicans seeking to turn out the longtime incumbent.

Haddon's campaign received $45,867 from the Senate Republican Campaign Committee in July, and the in-kind contributions included thousands for pamphlets, signs, consultants and salaries.

By comparison, Haugen has raised $163,777 through Tuesday, and reported remaining contributions of $81,338 and she has received in-kind donations so far of $2,301.

Haddon said she appreciated the financial and volunteer support from her party.

Haddon intends to continue her massive doorbelling efforts and meet as many people in the district as possible, she said.

"They really like it," she added. Haddon said she continues to hear complaints about the ferry and transportation as one of the main concerns.

America's Third Party candidate Sarah Hart rounded up close to 5 percent statewide. In Island County, she received 4.68 percent after the first vote count. Hard is showing a stable 5 percent in all counties in the district.

"I feel OK about this," Hart said about the results.

She added that her message resonated with voters who were tired of the bickering between the two main parties and therefore she thinks that she drew voters evenly from both main-party candidates.

"It's pretty impressive considering that the Libertarian in the last election only got a little more than 2 1/2 percent," she said.

Haugen said she was impressed with Hart's effort and liked many of Hart's innovative ideas.

"I plan to work with her on some of these ideas," Haugen said.

Even though Hart is out of the running for state Senate, she wants her voters to know that there is much more to come.

"I'll stick around," she said. "We're just getting this America's Third Party thing started."

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