An interesting tidbit from the recent $20 car tab debate: A couple insiders independently observed that challenger Richard Mitchell's aggressive championing of the fee may have played a key role in pressuring incumbent Jane Hague to drop her opposition. Hague's prior lack of support for Metro bus service became one of Mitchell's most effective talking points. He even showed up at a public hearing in Burien to testify on the fee's behalf.

Huh. Win or lose, it looks Mitchell may already have had a huge win when it comes to public policy.

Yesterday Mitchell came out of the first ballot drop with a 2.6 percent, 625 vote lead for second place over two-term port commissioner John Creighton, despite the latter's huge name ID advantage. That's not an insurmountable margin, but there's little reason to expect Creighton to overcome it. Hague, for her part, only secured 39 percent of vote... not a good performance for a 17-year incumbent.

UPDATE: New results have Mitchell nearly doubling his lead to 1225 votes. These would be ballots that arrived yesterday in the mail and via drop boxes, suggesting a late trend in Mitchell's favor. I'm calling this for Mitchell.