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Above: Manka Kaur with her husband, Harjit Singh.


Manka Kaur Dhingra Wins Pivotal Senate Seat In Washington State Election





Democrats will take control of the state Senate as Manka Kaur Dhingra defeated Republican rival Jinyoung Lee Englund in the 45th District Washington State Senate race.

After the latest returns Wednesday (November 8, 2017), Manka’’s double-digit lead stayed essentially the same as it was Tuesday night. She had 55.45 percent of the vote on Wednesday.

The Eastside contest has been Washington’s highest-profile state legislative race in years. A Republican-led coalition currently holds a one-vote Senate majority, but Manka’s victory flips control to the Democrats.

Democrats now have a slim majority in the state House and also hold the governor’s office.

Manka’s 10-point lead Tuesday night  prompted many Democrats to quickly declare victory. Englund, however, did not concede Wednesday.

“With only 1,700 ballots counted today, we are going to continue to watch the returns come in,” campaign spokeswoman Lisa Schreiner said in a text message.

More than 30,800 votes have been counted so far. More results will be released today.

Susan Hutchison, Washington State Republican Party chairman, issued a news release Wednesday afternoon congratulating Englund for a hard-fought campaign.

“Jinyoung Englund has tremendous potential and ran an honorable campaign,” Hutchison wrote. “However, swing Democrats did not cross party lines as they had for the late incumbent Republican Senator Andy Hill.”

The seat became open with Hill’s death last fall from cancer. Manka, of Redmond, will serve the remaining year of Hill’s term, and the seat will be back on the ballot next fall for a full four-year term.

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Manka Kaur Dhingra’s Bio

A Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney with the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, award winning PTSA mom, anti-domestic violence advocate and community leader, Manka Kaur ran for the Washington State Senate to address critical needs in education funding, mental health, violence prevention, and to protect the rights of women.

As Chair of the King County’s Therapeutic Alternative Unit, Manka supervises the Regional Mental Health Court, which received the Randy Revelle Award by the Washington State Psychiatric Association.  She also oversees the Veterans Court that serves veterans with PTSD and the Community Assessment and Referral for Diversion program.

To reform and improve the criminal justice system, Manka has worked with State Department of Social and Human Services, the Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, legislators, and the Governor’s office to ensure individuals get the treatment they need to return to being productive members of our community.

A mental health and crisis intervention expert, Manka provides training to law enforcement and recently started a collaborative effort with King County law enforcement agencies to coordinate response and help avoid tragedy. She also works directly with Harborview Hospital, mental health professionals and the courts to improve criminal justice outcomes for mentally ill individuals -- seeking to close the revolving door of jail, homelessness, and crime.

A longtime advocate for women and immigrant rights, Manka recognized how often domestic violence in the South Asian community goes unreported. In response, she co-founded Chaya (now API Chaya) and has since led the organization’s work to end systemic violence through education, prevention, and organizing. She also served on the Seattle Police Department Muslim, Arab, and Sikh Advisory Council to address hate crime issues in our region in the wake of 9/11.

A Board Member of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Eastside, which works to improve the quality of life of all those affected by mental illness, Manka earned the organization’s highest award earlier this year.

Prior to becoming a King County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, she interned with the State Attorney General's Office in their Criminal Division assisting with Sexually Violent Predator cases.  She also clerked for Justice Barbara Madsen at the Washington State Supreme Court from September 1997 to June 1998.

She holds a JD from the University of Washington School of Law and Bachelor of Arts degrees in History and Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley. She has been a prosecutor with King County since January 2000.

A mother of two children who attend Redmond Middle School and Redmond High School, Manka received the PTSA Golden Acorn Award for her work at Redmond Elementary School and remains a proud Girl Scout cookie mom. Manka and her husband, Harjit Singh, a distinguished engineer at SpaceX, live in the Education Hill neighborhood of Redmond.

[Courtesy: Seattle Times. Edited for]
November 9, 2017

Conversation about this article

1: Harpreet Singh (Delhi, india), November 09, 2017, 12:17 PM.

All the best wishes to you and your team and family.

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