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Blake, McEntire race for 19th District House neck-and-neck
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Blake, McEntire race for 19th District House neck-and-neck

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Nine-term incumbent Democrat Brian Blake of Aberdeen was fighting for his political life as representative of the 19th District House of Representatives against Cathlamet Republican Joel McEntire.

In the initial Tuesday evening returns, with 85% of the votes counted, McEntire led with 51% of the vote to Blake's 48.9%.

That’s 30,967 votes for McEntire and 29,698 for Blake. Blake is trailing by about 1,300 votes.

The 19th district includes parts of Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Lewis, Wahkiakum and Pacific counties. 

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According to the Secretary of State's website, there are about 9,200 ballots left to count in Cowlitz County, 2,000 in Grays Harbor, 100 in Lewis and 150 in Pacific. 

Both men said key issues this race are taxes and the state budget, the state COVID-19 response and improving the economy.

Blake, 60, has leaned on his track record of helping his constituents by building many new bridges, updating highway exchanges, deepening the Columbia River channel and improving Greys Harbor College and Lower Columbia College. 

He won Grays Harbor and Pacific counties, according to initial returns. 

In 2018, McEntire, who turned 33 on Election Day, spent most of the campaign season deployed to Kuwait as a Marine Corps reservist, but said he thought his extensive door-knocking and focus on reducing taxes would help bring him victory.

He won Lewis, Cowlitz and Wahkiakum counties, according to initial returns.

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