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Denny Heck wins race for Washington state's lieutenant governor

Heck led Marko Liias in early Washington state returns for the seat vacated by Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Congressman Denny Heck won the race for Washington state lieutenant governor. KING 5 called the race after early results show Heck leading State Sen. Marko Liias for the position.

The two were vying to replace outgoing Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib. Heck and Liias, both Democrats, were the top two candidates who emerged from a primary with nearly a dozen contenders.

In early returns, more than 18% of voters wrote in a candidate, according to the Washington Secretary of State's Office. Republican Joshua Freed ran a write-in campaign against Heck and Liias after coming in third in the top-two primary for governor.  

The position of lieutenant governor has been left mostly vacant since Cyrus Habib took an unpaid leave of absence.

Habib, an up-and-coming politician who had served in the state Legislature and served one term as lieutenant governor, said he was shifting gears and planned to join the clergy.

Nearly a dozen candidates lined up to take Habib's seat after the Democrat announced earlier this year that he would vacate it.

Heck, a Democrat, is a Congressman who represents the Washington 10th District, which includes Mason, Thurston and Pierce counties. He also was the chief of staff of Gov. Booth Gardner.

Liias, a Democrat, is the State Senate Majority Floor Leader. He represents the 21st District, which includes Lynnwood.

Along with approving documents that go out under their signature, the lieutenant governor also steps in to serve as governor when the governor is out of state or incapacitated and is the first in the line of succession. The lieutenant governor also presides over the state senate.

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