A Recap of Primary Election Results

Democrats had a good night.

By Hayat Norimine August 8, 2018

Democrats in races across the state have the chance to pick up some key seats come November. 


Two Democrats, Kim Schrier and Jason Rittereiser, are still in the running to run against Republican Dino Rossi for the Eighth Congressional District House seat in November. But Tuesday results showed that even longtime Republican incumbents—Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Jaime Herrera Beutler—could be in trouble. 

U.S. representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, from eastern Washington's Fifth Congressional District, is ahead of Democratic challenger Lisa Brown by less than half a percentage point, or 525 votes. 

Both will advance to the general election, eliminating three other right-wing candidates. Totaling all those primary ballots to Republican candidates would still give McMorris Rodgers, a seven-term incumbent and fourth-ranking House Republican, 52.9 percent of votes right now; but far more residents cast votes in November, especially those more motivated for change, and it's not that far a stretch if Brown can rally enough lefty voters who didn't turn out in August.

U.S. representative Jaime Herrera Beutler in southwest Washington's Third Congressional District received just 40.9 percent of the votes, while Democratic candidate Carolyn Long got 36.6 percent. Five other challengers were eliminated—and if those primary voters stay with their party, that totals 50.3 percent for Long, 49.7 percent for Herrera Beutler. Herrera Beutler has been in office since 2011.

U.S. senator Maria Cantwell looks pretty secure in her seat. Despite having 28 other candidates running against her, Cantwell received 55.5 percent of votes Tuesday night. In November she'll face former Washington State GOP Party chair Susan Hutchison, who received 23.8 percent. 

The State Senate: Four Seats Could Swing Blue

Democrats look likely to not only retain their narrow majority in both the state Senate and House, but they're on track to also gain some seats if they can continue to fire up their voters in November.

Democratic candidate Jessa Lewis is leading against Republican state representative Jeff Holy, in an open state Senate seat to replace Republican incumbent Mike Baumgartner. Lewis garnered 51 percent of votes, 2 percentage points ahead of Holy. 

In the 26th Legislative District, Democratic challenger Emily Randall is leading for an open seat to replace Republican state senator Jan Angel.

Republican incumbent Mark Miloscia managed to get only 48.4 percent of the votes; and if Claire Wilson picks up the third-place Democrat's votes, that leaves her with 51.6 percent as of Tuesday.

And finally, the 42nd Legislative District's state senator Doug Ericksen received only 45.8 percent of votes, with Democratic split votes adding up to 54.2 percent of votes. 

The State House: 15 Openings for Democrats

In eastern King County, Democrats are leading in two state House seats currently occupied by Republicans—incumbent Paul Graves is in jeopardy of losing to Democratic challenger Lisa Callan, who raked in 52.9 percent of the votes.  In the Fifth Legislative District Position One seat, Democratic candidate Bill Ramos is leading with 53.6 percent of support.

And in the Sixth Legislative District House seat Holy left to run for state Senate...another Democrat, Dave Wilson, is leading. In fact, Democrats are frontrunners in both House seat races in the eastern Washington district, and Mike Volz could be ousted.

The 10th Legislative District is another Republican stronghold that could get in the hands of Democrats this November; in both House races, the Democratic challenger got more votes than GOP incumbents Norma Smith and Dave Hayes. 

In southwest Washington's 17th Legislative District, Republican state representative Vicki Kraft received 48.5 percent of the votes, while Democratic challenger Tanisha Harris got 43.9 percent. But Harris could pick up 7.6 percent of votes that went to another Democratic challenger, giving her a majority. The Democratic party could also pick up two more seats in the 18th and 19th districts; Republican incumbent Jim Walsh, a freshman who won a blue seat in 2016, is trailing Democratic challenger Erin Frasier. 

Republican challenger Kelly Chambers in the 25th Legislative District is currently the frontrunner in a Republican stronghold; but split Democratic votes between two close second- and third-place candidates still give both House seats in this district the potential to swing blue. 

The 35th District's Position Two seat could also turn to a Democrat, with David Daggett currently leading over Drew MacEwen. 

In the 42nd District, state representatives Luanne Van Werven and Vincent Buys could both be in trouble. Van Werven received just 44.1 percent of votes, and with the eliminated Republican challenger's ballots would still narrowly trail Democratic challenger Justin Boneau. Buys came in second, with Democrat Sharon Shewmake receiving 52.5 percent.

Republican incumbent Mark Harmsworth in the 44th Legislative District is also trailing Democrat Jared Mead significantly—by nearly 10 percentage points.

Democratic state representative David Sawyer of the 29th District, Tacoma, might not make it through the primary after allegations of inappropriate conduct and harassment from eight women. He came in third Tuesday night with just 23.4 percent, narrowly trailing behind his Republican challenger, Terry Harder, by 108 votes. The frontrunner? Sawyer's Democratic challenger, Melanie Morgan, at 40.2 percent so far.  

Updated 11:05am on August 13, 2018, to correct Jason Rittereiser's name. 

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