Primary election night came and went last Tuesday evening, with a mixed bag of results for both Republicans and Democrats as the two parties set their sights to November’s general election.
In the 3rd Congressional District, Republican incumbent Jaime Herrera Beutler looks to be facing her toughest re-election campaign since she first won her seat to the House of Representatives in 2010. As of Aug. 10, Herrera Beutler has won 42.1 percent of the vote in the top-two primary, where the top two vote-getting candidates regardless of political party affiliation advance to the general election.
Washington State University-Vancouver professor and political newcomer Carolyn Long will join the incumbent on the ballot in November, taking 35.3 percent of the vote to finish in second.
“I’m so incredibly grateful to Southwest Washington voters for continuing to trust me to fight on their behalf,” Herrera Beutler said in a press release on Aug. 7. “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 WSU-Vancouver since 1995 as a political science professor with a focus on constitutional law. She moved to Vancouver from Oregon in 2017.
“Herrera Beutler’s campaign has received more than $300,000 in donations from corporate interests, including Big Pharma, insurance companies and Wall Street,” Long said in a press release following the primary election. “Her campaign is also heavily supported by special interest PACs like the gun lobby and anti-choice groups.”
While Herrera Beutler beat her closest competitor by nearly seven percent, taking a look at the big picture indicates that this could be a tight race all the way until Election Day. Republican candidates in this year’s primary election garnered 51 percent of all votes, while Democratic candidates received the remaining 49 percent. In 2016, Herrera Beutler was the only Republican on the primary election ballot and received 55.5 percent of the vote, while the four Democratic candidates combined for 41.8 percent of all votes.
National election forecasters have also taken interest in the race, as the well-regarded Cook Political Report has downgraded Herrera Beutler’s chances of winning the seat from ‘likely Republican’ to ‘leans Republican,’ citing the closeness in the total vote share between the two parties in last Tuesday’s primary, the credible amount of money that the Long campaign has raised, and the fact that the 3rd Congressional District is “substantially suburban,” which have for the most part swung away from Republicans and toward Democrats in elections across the country since President Donald Trump took office in 2017.
In the two state legislature races on the ballot, Republicans are firmly in control as they appear to be in no danger of losing either of the 14th Legislative District state representative seats that they currently hold. Incumbent Gina Mosbrucker took 60.3 percent of all votes in her race as she seeks a third term, while Yakima attorney and businesswoman Liz Hallock finished in second with 28.2 percent.
In the other state representative race, Republican and Yakima businessman Chris Corry took 40.9 percent of the vote, while former Klickitat County Democrats chairwoman Sasha Bentley finished in second with 32.5 percent. In all, Republican candidates received 62.4 percent of the vote share, while Democratic candidates received 37.6 percent.
Klickitat County Sheriff Bob Songer captured 61.2 percent of the vote in the primary as he runs for re-election, while Democrat and lifetime Klickitat County resident Douglas Charters received the rest of the votes as both candidates advance to the general election. In the Klickitat CountyCommissioner race, Republican incumbent David Sauter took over 70 percent of the vote against independent Raymond Clough as both candidates will see their names on November’s ballot.
And in the U.S. Senate race, Democrat and three-term incumbent Maria Cantwell won 55 percent of the vote in a field that consisted of 28 other candidates. She’ll be joined in November by Republican Susan Hutchison, the former chairwoman of the Washington State Republican Party and a television news anchor in Seattle for over 20 years. Hutchison received 24.4 percent of the vote, while none of the other 27 challengers received more than three percent of the vote.