OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Republican Rep. Dan Newhouse, who voted to impeach Donald Trump, advanced Friday to the general election following days of vote counts in Washington state's primary, but fellow Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler saw her advantage against an opponent endorsed by Trump rapidly shrink to within recount territory with thousands of votes left to count.
Both drew interparty challenges due to their vote to impeach Trump following the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Newhouse, the four-term incumbent in the 4th Congressional District in central Washington and Democrat Doug White were essentially tied, with each capturing about 25% of the vote on a crowded ballot. White also advanced to the fall ballot. Loren Culp, a Trump-endorsed former small town police chief who lost the 2020 governor’s race to Democrat Jay Inslee, was at about 21%.
In the 3rd Congressional District in southwestern Washington, Democrat Marie Perez was the top vote getter, with 31% of the vote. Herrera Beutler, who had about 24% on Tuesday night, dropped to 22.6% Thursday night, 257 votes ahead of Joe Kent – a former Green Beret endorsed by Trump — who was at 22.5%.
A mandatory recount would occur if the margin of votes between the No. 2 and No. 3 candidates is less than half of 1% and closer than 2,000 votes.
Because Washington is a vote-by-mail state and ballots just need to be in by Election Day, it often takes days to learn final results in close races as ballots arrive at county election offices throughout the week.
An estimated 35,000 votes are left to count, and the three counties where votes remain to be counted — the majority of it in the 3rd District's largest county, Clark, — won't update their tallies again until late Monday afternoon. Counties have until Aug. 16 to finish their count and for canvassing boards to certify the results, followed by certification by the secretary of state by Aug. 19.
Under Washington’s primary system, all candidates run on the same ballot, and the top two vote getters in each of Tuesday’s races advance to the November election, regardless of party.
Of the 10 House Republicans who voted for Trump's impeachment, four opted not to run for reelection. Michigan Rep. Peter Meijer was defeated in a primary Tuesday by Trump-endorsed John Gibbs and Rep. Tom Rice of South Carolina lost to a Trump-endorsed challenger in June. Rep. David Valadao of California — which has an open primary like Washington — survived a primary challenge. Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming is bracing for defeat in her Aug. 16 primary against a Trump-backed rival.
In another key match in the 8th Congressional District, incumbent Democratic Rep. Kim Schrier advanced to the November ballot with more than 47% of the vote, and will face former state attorney general candidate Matt Larkin in November.
With about 17% of the vote, Larkin edged out King County Council Member Reagan Dunn, a former federal prosecutor whose mother once held the seat. Dunn conceded the race Thursday. The district is a key target of GOP efforts to retake control of the House.