Republican Robert Sutherland is leading in the race for the 39th Legislative District state House seat held by Rep. Dan Kristiansen, R-Snohomish, according to Tuesday's initial election results.

Kristiansen is not seeking re-election.

First-time candidate Sutherland is facing first-time candidate and Democrat Ivan Lewis. Sutherland held  56 percent of the vote — 18,512 votes compared to Lewis' 14,345 — as of Tuesday.

In Skagit County specifically, Sutherland held 57 percent of votes — or 327 more than Lewis.

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

Sutherland, a 58-year-old retired biochemist and Air Force veteran from rural Snohomish County, has said he’s running because he wants to make a difference for future generations and wants to serve all constituents, not just those of one political party. 

He could not be reached Tuesday evening for additional comment.

An updated ballot count is expected later this week.

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

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