Incumbent state Sen. Barbara Bailey is leading the race for the seat in the 10th Legislative District.
As of Tuesday night, Bailey led her opponent, Angie Homola, 55 percent to 45 percent.
“I’m very excited and humbled,” said Bailey, R-Oak Harbor, who served for 10 years in the state House before winning the Senate seat.
Homola could not be reached for comment.
The legislative district includes Island County and parts of Skagit and Snohomish counties.
“We have a lot of work we have to continue,” Bailey said. adding that the Legislature will need to find a way to balance the state budget while meeting a court requirement to fully fund K-12 education.
“I’m excited about the future,” she said.
As chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee, Bailey said the Legislature has made great strides in reducing tuition and debt in state colleges.
She said her work on the requirement for the state to have a four-year balanced budget is a point of pride as it has required lawmakers to stop putting off investment in struggling sectors such as education.
Homola has said she became interested in running for office when she was involved in the Swan Lake Watershed Preservation Group, a nonprofit focused on environmental preservation.
While working with the group, she decided to run for county commissioner after seeing what she called a misappropriation of funds by the county.
She won in 2008, and as commissioner worked to cut Island County’s spending by 20 percent.
Homola ran unsuccessfully for reelection in 2012.
The next ballot count will be released Thursday.