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Election winners emerge
"With more than 20,000 votes counted in Island County, some clear winners are emerging from the Nov. 7 election.In the tight race for Island County Commissioner from Oak Harbor, two-term Republican Mac McDowell looks to be squeaking out an 850-vote victory over Democratic challenger Lynne Wilcox. McDowell has already claimed victory in the contest.Also returning to a commissioner post will be District 1 Commissioner Mike Shelton. As ballot counting stopped Thursday evening for a three-day weekend, Shelton, a two-term Republican from Langley, was pulling away from Clinton Democrat William Rowlands 11397 to 6541.Democrat Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen's lead over Clinton Republican Norma Smith shrank only slightly since election day. Haugen's 2,189 vote advantage is expected to hold up even though a few thousand ballots remain to be counted.The only local incumbent who won't be headed back to his seat appears to be South Whidbey Democrat Dave Anderson, who trails Oak Harbor Republican Barry Sehlin by 1,278 votes in the race for Position 1 of the state House of Representatives.For House Position 2, Rep. Kelly Barlean, R-Langley, continues to win handily over Marysville Democrat John McCoy. With the vast majority of votes counted, Barlean leads by nearly 7,000 votes.Island County voters agreed with the majority of Washingtonians on most candidates and issues but differed in two key races. While the majority of voters in the 2nd Congressional District went for Democrat Rick Larsen, almost 51 percent of Island County voters threw their support to Republican John Koster.Local voters also appear to be going against the majority grain by backing George W. Bush for president. In Island County, Republican Bush leads Democrat Al Gore by nearly 1,000 votes. Statewide, Gore came out on top. "