Former Franklin County Sheriff Richard Lathim strengthened his hold on second place in the primary race for 9th District state representative.
Republican Lathim had 4,673 votes, or 27 percent, to 4,463 votes for Democrat Kenneth Caylor, a former Othello city councilman.
Both men were well behind Rep. Mary Dye, R-Pomeroy, who was appointed to the position by commissioners from the six-county district in May after former Rep. Susan Fagan resigned amid an ethics investigation.
Dye led with 8,383 votes, or 48 percent. The top two vote-getters, regardless of party, will move on to the November general election for the final year of Fagan’s two-year term.
Lathim is performing strongest in his native Franklin County, where he has 1,547 more votes than Caylor. The Franklin County Auditor’s Office reported having an estimated 91 votes left to count Thursday.
Caylor performed strongest in Whitman and Asotin counties. He has 919 more votes than Lathim in Whitman County, which has an estimated 1,000 votes left to count, and 539 more votes than Lathim in Asotin County, where an estimated 30 votes remain uncounted.
The candidates are separated by fewer than 100 votes in Adams, Garfield and Spokane counties.