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Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon appeared headed for re-election, with about half the ballots counted. He was leading by 14 points Tuesday night over his challenger, Seattle Police officer and state Rep. Mike Hope, R-Lake Stevens.

Reardon, a Democrat, beat Hope by only four points in the primary. Capping off a heated campaign, the Washington State Patrol said  last week it was doing a criminal investigation of whether Reardon committed criminal misconduct by misspending county money on out-of-town travel. Reardon said Hope was behind the 11th-hour release of news of the investigation.

Throughout the campaign, Hope sought to publicize management problems in Reardon’s administration and painted the executive as “corrupt” in attack ads and fliers. Reardon fought back by publicizing Hope’s 2000 suspension from his job. The Seattle Police Department disciplined Hope for his behavior during a Mill Creek traffic stop.