Former Justice Richard Sanders’ bid to return to the Washington Supreme court is still alive.
Sanders was holding onto second place as more ballots were counted from Tuesday’s primary. He trailed Seattle appeals lawyer Sheryl Gordon McCloud in the race to replace retiring Justice Tom Chambers, but he had a shrinking lead over King County Superior Court Judge Bruce Hilyer.
Hilyer gained about 10,000 votes on Sanders on Friday, but he still trailed by more than 14,000 out of 1 million counted. About 61,000 of the nearly 148,000 ballots still to be counted are from King County, where Hilyer has been doing well.
McCloud had 29.5 percent of the vote, Sanders 28.3 percent, and Hilyer 26.9 percent. Former Pierce County Executive John Ladenburg is running a distant fourth with 15.3 percent.
If the results hold, Sanders and McCloud would face off in the general election in November.
Sanders is known for his libertarian leanings, for siding with defendants in criminal appeals, and for his sometimes-startling remarks.
Hilyer has been a King County Superior Court judge for 12 years.