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Washington State News

Some Close Calls in Washington State Primaries for Congress

(The Center Square) – The Washington Secretary of State’s Office began posting preliminary results from the state’s primary on Tuesday night. At the federal level, there are no projected upsets, though there are a few close calls.

Initial results showed Sen. Patty Murray, D-Bothell, with a 20 percentage point lead over challenger Tiffany Smiley, who had been endorsed by the Republican Party in advance of the primary. Murray was pulling in 53.92% of primary voters to Smiley’s 32%. A pair of Republican candidates, Leon Lawson and John Guenther, were bringing in a little over 6% between the two of them in early returns.

In the 3rd Congressional District, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler was receiving fewer votes than her Democratic challenger Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, at 24.48% to 31.77%. That was because of a significant vote split by the district’s Republican voters, who at the time of publication favored Trump-endorsed candidate Joe Kemp with 20.11% of the vote. Another challenger who refused to drop out, Heidi St. John, secured 15.08%, according to early returns.

There was a similar Trump-challenger dynamic at work in the 4th Congressional District, though in that case the incumbent Republican was receiving more votes than the Democrat, even with the field so divided. The Tuesday night results there were:

  • Republican Rep. Dan Newhouse at 27.32%
  • Democratic challenger Doug White at 25.98%
  • Republican challenger Loren Culp at 21.74%
  • Republican challenger Jerrod Sessler at 10.92%
  • Republican challenger Brad Klippert at 8.56%
  • Republican challenger Corey Gibson at 3.56%
  • Republican challenger Benancio “Benny” Garcia III at 1.49%

Many other incumbents fared better. Democratic Rep. Suzan DelBenne was receiving 63.7% in the 1st Congressional District. Democratic Rep. Derek Kilmer was at 52.61% in the 6th. Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal enjoyed a commanding lead of 83.88% in the 7th. Democratic Rep. Adam Smith was pulling in 57.24% in the 9th. Democratic Rep. Marilyn Strickland registered 55.95% in the 10th.

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers was the one Republican member of the congressional delegation who did not draw significant primary opposition, in part because she was the one Republican member who did not vote to impeach former president Donald Trump. She was sitting at 50.81% of the vote with her closest Democratic challenger, Natasha Hill, at 30.27%.

Two Democratic incumbents who might have signaled some weakness were Kim Schrier in the 8th District, at 49.4% of the tallied votes, and Rick Larsen in the 2nd District, with 48.41% of the votes.

In the case of Schrier, it is far from clear who her challenger will be. In the latest counting, Republicans Reagan Dunn and Matt Larkin are neck and neck, with 15.04% and 15.89% of the vote, respectively.

The top two finishers in every race, regardless of party, will have their names printed on the ballots for the general election on Nov. 8.