Incumbent U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, will face political science professor Carolyn Long in what Tuesday’s results suggested may be a close race.
Long, a Democrat making her first run for office, was less than 4 percentage points behind Herrera Beutler, 40.9 percent to 36.6 percent, according to districtwide results posted on the Secretary of State’s website. Long led Herrera Beutler in Clark County, the district’s most populous, by 2,249 votes.
Herrera Beutler said she’s honored to have advanced through the primary.
“I’m so incredibly grateful to Southwest Washington voters for continuing to trust me to fight on their behalf,” Herrera Beutler said in a statement issued by her spokeswoman. “Over the next few months voters will be presented with a clear contrast between a proud Southwest Washingtonian who has worked hard and reached across the aisle to get results for this community, and an Oregonian who will vote to raise taxes and kill economic growth.”
Long has taught at Washington State University Vancouver for 23 years and moved to Washington in 2017.
Herrera Beutler’s campaign spokeswoman, Angeline Riesterer, said late ballots historically lean Republican, so they expect her lead to increase as the remaining ballots are counted.
In an election night interview at the Clark County Public Service Center, Long said there was a lot of energy surrounding her campaign, even on Election Day as she and her supporters canvassed throughout the district. She said her internal polling showed similar results to the Tuesday returns.
“I’m feeling really good,” Long said of the initial results.
She’s hoping the other Democratic candidates will now join her campaign as she would have joined theirs. Long is hoping to snag a few Republican voters, as well.
“I think that would be what we need,” Long said. “This is about beating Herrera Beutler, it isn’t about who it is.”
Early returns show Democrats Dorothy Gasque, Martin Hash and David McDevitt coming in with 4.58 percent, 0.95 percent and 8.14 percent, respectively.
On the Republican side, Earl Bowerman ran to the right of Herrera Beutler, touting his unwavering support for President Donald Trump.
His place on the political spectrum gave him the opportunity to peel off Republican votes from the incumbent. He was able to garner 5.3 percent of the vote. Fellow Republican Michael Cortney earned 3.5 percent.