Rep. Carolyn Eslick, R-Sultan, is leading in the race to keep her state House seat representing the 39th Legislative District, according to Tuesday's initial election results.

As of 10 p.m., Eslick holds 58 percent of the vote, with 19,074 votes compared to challenger Eric Halvorson's 14,345 votes.

In Skagit County specifically, Eslick holds 57 percent of the vote, with 321 more votes than Halvorson.

"I'm thrilled, thrilled, thrilled," Eslick said Tuesday. "It is a joyous day for the 39th District. I felt good about this campaign after the primary ... but to come out as strong as I did — I was thrilled."

Eslick has held the seat for about a year after being appointed after former Rep. John Koster left the position to take a job with a state agency.

The district includes eastern Skagit and Snohomish counties and northeast King County. The state House position is a two-year term.

Eslick said she looks forward to continuing her efforts in the Legislature.

"I'm working very hard on the mental health issue and finding solutions for our mentally ill folks and working very hard with Sen. Wagoner on water rights and property rights concerning the elk issue," she said.

An updated ballot count is expected Wednesday.

— Reporter Kimberly Cauvel: 360-416-2199, kcauvel@skagitpublishing.com, Twitter: @Kimberly_SVH, Facebook.com/bykimberlycauvel

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