• Check out all North Central Washington and state election results and stories: Election 2010
WENATCHEE — Rep. Mike Armstrong has apparently defeated a challenge by Cliff Courtney, a self-described Tea Party supporter. But not without a run for his money.
After serving for 10 years as Dist. 12 Representative, Armstrong is winning with 53 percent of the vote, or less than 1,500 votes out of a total of nearly 30,000 counted in the four counties represented by District 12, according to the Secretary of State’s website.
Both candidates are Republicans, and Courtney said during the election that he aligned with the Tea Party movement, although he wasn’t receiving funds from the movement’s supporters.
Courtney said Tuesday night that he’s not ready to concede because he knows many ballots still haven’t been counted. But early indications don’t look promising for him, he agreed.
And if the percentages don’t change as more ballots are counted, Courtney said he’s happy he gave voters a choice. “I’ve had some fantastic support. Mine was a grass-roots campaign. My bread was buttered on the east side of the state, and I’m pretty proud of that,” he said.
Armstrong said he is pleased voters opted to send him back to Olympia.
He said now that the election is over, he’s focusing on issues that will face the state Legislature next year.
“We need to start the hard work of the next session, balancing the budget, and figuring out how to make cuts in state government,” he said.
As for the support given to a relatively unknown opponent, Armstrong added, “I think nationally and statewide, it’s just a weird year to be an incumbent,” he said. “I think we’re seeing that everywhere.”
Courtney said regardless of the outcome of this election, he’s not dropping out of politics. “I’ve taken the last 13 months of my life to support good American candidates. I’m going to continue to do that through the 2012 process,” he said. “I can’t say what my next cause will be, but I’m in this for the long haul.”
K.C. Mehaffey: 997-2512