Dow Constantine has won a fourth term as King County executive, the first person to do so in more than half a century.

Constantine was leading state Sen. Joe Nguyen with more than 56% of the vote after Thursday’s counts. Nguyen had managed to scratch back less than a percentage point since Tuesday night.

The Seattle Times called the election for Constantine Thursday afternoon.

The victory sets Constantine up to lead the state’s largest county for 16 years, the longest tenure at the helm since the county adopted its current system of governance.

Constantine, 59, pointed toward an array of progressive governing achievements, including a just-expanded light-rail system that will soon expand again, a new program to transform old hotels into shelters with wraparound services and a multibillion-dollar COVID-19 response he called the best of “any major jurisdiction in the country.”

He out-fundraised Nguyen by more than 8 to 1.

Constantine said his top priorities would include sheltering every person in King County, climate initiative, and protecting and restoring Puget Sound. He said he sensed people are ready for big changes.

“Things have been unmoored; people have been shaken awake,” Constantine said Tuesday night. “They are ready to take big steps.”

Constantine has declined to rule out running for higher office, should one become available during his term.

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