State House Minority Leader Dan Kristiansen had a strong lead over challenger Linda Wright on Tuesday, carrying 59 percent of the votes counted so far.

"I believe the first round of results will be reflective of the endgame," Kristiansen said. "I never take it for granted, but after 14 years of serving the community here, they still like the work I'm doing."

Kristiansen, R-Snohomish, has held his seat in Legislative District 39 since 2003, making him one of the most experienced Republicans in the House. 

The district covers eastern Skagit and Snohomish counties and part of eastern King County.

Kristiansen said one of the top issues facing the Legislature will be fully funding K-12 education, which is required by the state Supreme Court under the McCleary decision.

He also said social services need to be more accessible.

An estimated 15,000 ballots remain to be counted, according to the Skagit County Auditor's Office. The next count will be released Thursday.

— Reporter Aaron Weinberg: 360-416-2145,,

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