Race to replace Washington Supreme Court justice remains tight

Race to replace Washington Supreme Court justice remains tight
FILE - In this Oct. 13, 2009 file photo, Chief Justice Gerry Alexander, second right, gives remarks to justices before they head into court Oct. 13, 2009, in the Temple of Justice in Olympia, Wash. From left are Justice Richard Sanders, Associate Chief Justice Charles W. Johnson, Alexander and Justice Tom Chambers. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - The race to replace retiring Washington Supreme Court Justice Tom Chambers is tightening.

Seattle appeals lawyer Susan Gordon McCloud is still leading the pack with 31 percent of the vote in Tuesday primary. Former Justice Richard Sanders is coming in second with 27.2 percent in his bid to return to the court, but his lead over King County Superior Court Judge Bruce Hilyer is shrinking as more votes from King County are tallied.

Hilyer has 26.3 percent of the vote so far. Former Pierce County Executive John Ladenburg is running fourth at 15.6 percent.

The top two finishers will advance to the general election in November.

In the two other Supreme Court races, Justices Susan Owens and Steve Gonzalez retained their seats by wide margins over little-known competitors.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.