In the contentious District 5 race for state Senate, Democrat Mark Mullet, a member of the Issaquah City Council, took an early lead over Republican Brad Toft, a mortgage lender. Mullet rolled up 21,061 votes (53.84 percent) to Toft’s 18,054 (46.18 percent).
Mullet was celebrating his apparent victory Tuesday night at Zeek’s Pizza in Issaquah, one of his two businesses.
Mullet said he plans to find the middle ground in Olympia and move forward.
“The Democratic party has work to do when it comes to business and my experience will move that along,” he said while enjoying a piece of ice-cream cake.
The cake was decorated with a donkey sporting a mullet hair cut, a humorous jab at his name.
Toft said the race is too close to call
“Republicans tend to vote late,” Toft said. “We watch the trends as they come in and we’re prepared to hold on for a few days.”
The seat that Mullet up for grabs was vacated by Cheryl Pflug, who was accepted a position in Olympia. Pflug, a Republican, endorsed Mullet, which left her party scrambling to find a candidate. Toft has maintained that there was a back-door deal between Gov. Chris Gregoire, Pflug and Mullet when Pflug accepted a position with the State Growth Management Hearings Board.