Without the benefit of exit polling (asking voters why they voted the way they did) or a perceptual study, it's hard to predict what happened in these races.

   Judge Rodriguez retained, Benton County Prosecutor Race razor close

Judge Norma Rodriguez, an Inslee appointee, won re-election Tuesday. In February, Gov. Inslee appointed Kennewick attorney Rodriguez to succeed the retiring Cameron Mitchell.  She then had to run again to keep the seat for the rest of the term.

Almost immediately, Tri-City area attorney George Cicotte announced he would challenge her. 

One of the largest campaign points made was that Rodriguez was an Inslee appointee. However, a number of other area judges have been as well. But in this highly charged political atmosphere with Gov. Inslee abusing COVID emergency powers and end-running the legislature on environmental issues, his appointees have taken on new scrutiny.  There are many who believe Inslee appoints officials he believes will 'fit' his template or agenda.

However, Rodriguez had the endorsement of former Kennewick Police Chief Ken Hohenberg and several other elected prosecutorial officials. In the end, Rodriguez ended up winning by a margin of 56 to 43 percent in the two counties combined, or 17,612 votes to 13,196.

 Benton County Prosecuting Attorney race was sharp, at times bitter

Eric Eisinger and Ryan Lukson duked it out, with Lukson winning the position by a mere 730 votes or 50.61 to 48.24 percent.

There were some radio ads that were briefly aired by a third-party PAC (political action committee) not affiliated with Eisinger, that made claims about Lukson's personal life and worthiness to hold office. The ads were pulled after a cease-and-desist was issued by Lukson's attorney.  In the opinion of some observers, those ads actually ended up being possibly harmful to the Eisinger campaign.

The race wound up being one of the closer ones in Benton County Prosecuting attorney history.

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