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OLYMPIA — Democrat Jay Inslee expressed confidence Wednesday that his early lead in Washington's race for governor would hold as he began setting up a transition team that would help him prepare to take office in January. Inslee stopped short of declaring victory over Republican Rob McKenna, acknowledging that the election's final result may not be known until the end of this week. Inslee held a promising advantage after nearly 2 million votes were counted Tuesday, carrying 51 percent of ballots. By Mike Baker.
AP Photos WATAC106, WAET114, WASB108, WAET101, WASB101, WASB106, WAET115, WASEA102.JPG, WAVAN103.
OLYMPIA — Republicans have fallen short in another gubernatorial race, all but dashing the party's hopes of gaining control of significantly more governors' office across the nation. Democrat Steve Bullock was elected governor in Montana on Wednesday. That left only one undecided governor's race — in Washington state, where Democrats were in position to extend nearly three decades of control. Democrats have already fended off GOP challengers in Missouri, New Hampshire, West Virginia, Delaware and Vermont. By Mike Baker.
AP Photos NCCB108, WASB109, INDC123, WASEA104.JPG, MOSTP115, WASB104, NCGRE101, VTTT120.
DENVER - First came marijuana as medicine. Now comes legal pot for the people. Those who have argued for decades that legalizing and taxing weed would be better than a costly, failed U.S. drug war have their chance to prove it, as Colorado and Washington became the first states to allow pot for recreational use. While the measures earned support from broad swaths of the electorate in both states, they will likely face resistance from federal drug warriors. In the meantime, other states and countries will be watching to see whether it can both help dry up money for drug cartels and raise it for governments. Eight decades after marijuana prohibition marched through state legislatures the federal government, states again are setting up a seismic shift in how this country approaches the drug. By Kristen Wyatt.
OLYMPIA — Supporters of gay marriage in Washington state declared victory Wednesday, saying they don't see a way for their opponents to prevail as votes continue to trickle in on Referendum 74. "The numbers point to victory," said Zach Silk, a spokesman for Washington United for Marriage. "We're really feeling good." By Rachel La Corte.
AP Photos WATW304, WATW209, WATW307, WATW214, WAET120, WATW215, WATW302, WATW310.
JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD — A friend of Staff Sgt. Robert Bales testified Wednesday that he thought Bales seemed remorseful after being taken into custody following a massacre at two Afghan villages last March. Defense witness 1st Sgt. Vernon Bigham testified by video from Kandahar Air Field in Afghanistan as the third day of testimony began at a preliminary hearing for Bales. By Gene Johnson.
AP Photo WATW209.
CHICAGO — Boeing is shaking up its shrinking defense division, putting some executives into new roles and reducing the number of managers. Boeing makes military helicopters and planes, in addition to commercial jets used by airlines. The commercial airplane business has been expanding. But the defense business is suffering because of tight government spending in the U.S. and other countries.
SEATTLE — In a span of less than 24 hours this weekend, three brothers, all playing the same position, will play on the same turf at CenturyLink Field. On Saturday, it will be Washington senior Desmond Trufant in his final college home game. The next day, brothers Marcus and Isaiah will cap a memorable weekend for the Trufant family when the Seahawks host the Jets. By Tim Booth.
BKW--T25-WEST COAST STRIDES
STANFORD, Calif. — Tara VanDerveer plans to reach out to every one of her Pac-12 coaching colleagues soon to let them know she's rooting for a strong non-conference showing by all. The Stanford coach is cheering for continued strides in West Coast women's basketball, knowing full well these teams still lag behind on the national stage largely just based on the region in which they play. By Janie McCauley.
— PORT ANGELES FUEL SPILL — Crews cleaning up fuel spill at Port Angeles. AP Photo WAPAN101.
— SPACE SHUTTLE EXHIBIT — Space shuttle exhibit opens Saturday in Seattle.
— MOSES LAKE PEDESTRIAN FATALITY — Off-duty cop killed man in Moses Lake accident.
— SEATTLE SEAWALL-FINGERPRINTS — Seattle voters approve $290 million seawall.
— KING COUNTY SHERIFF — Former sergeant leading King County sheriff race.
— BALLOT COUNT — 1.2M ballots remain to be counted in Washington.
— PILOT-SEX CHARGES — Lake Tapps pilot gets 10 more years for sex crimes.
— TROPICAL BANK ROBBER — Seattle-Bellevue bank robber wears tropical shirts.
— MISSING OKANOGAN CAMPER — Renton man missing on Okanogan camping trip.
— COLDER WEATHER — Change in the air in Washington: Colder.