Smith rebounds in 10th District race

Incumbent Representative Norma Smith has overtaken Democratic challenger Tim Knue in the 10th legislative District Position 1 race. Smith was at 33,125 votes (50.34 percent) as of Monday afternoon, compared to Knue's 32,676 votes (49.66 percent).

Incumbent Representative Norma Smith has overtaken Democratic challenger Tim Knue in the 10th Legislative District Position 1 race.

Smith was at 33,125 votes (50.34 percent) as of Monday afternoon, compared to Knue’s 32,676 votes (49.66 percent).

On Election Night, Knue led by nearly 600 votes; Smith’s advantage is now 449 votes.

“I’m just very optimistic and very grateful,” Smith, a Republican, said today. “But we need to wait until every vote is counted.”

She said the key will be several thousand military ballots from Island and parts of Snohomish and Skagit counties that have yet to be counted.

Smith said more votes will have to come in before an automatic recount can be triggered. She said a margin of one-half of 1 percent is required for an automatic recount.

But Smith said she’s counting on a historical trend toward strong-finishing Republicans to put her over the top.

Two years ago, Knue, 54, came in a strong second to Republican Rep. Barbara Bailey in the battle for state representative from the 10th Legislative District Position 2.

Bailey came from behind to win.

This year, Knue, a longtime educator from Conway south of Mount Vernon, switched to Position 1 to take on Smith. He received 47 percent of the vote against Smith in the primary.

Smith, 57, of Clinton, was appointed by the GOP to fill the vacancy created by the departing Chris Strow.

Smith, a longtime aide to the late Congressman Jack Metcalf, ran twice before for public office, losing to Rick Larsen in a race for the U.S. House of Representatives, and to state Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen.

Knue (pronounced canoe), who grew up in Oak Harbor, taught vocational education at Mount Vernon High School for 27 years. He has lived in the 10th District for 32 years.

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