Challenges line up in Cantwell, Kilmer races

The Associated Press

OLYMPIA — Democratic U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell and Republican Susan Hutchison will face off in November for a U.S. Senate seat, while U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer will battle with challenger Douglas Dightman, a Republican.

Cantwell, who is seeking her fourth term, easily outpaced all other candidates in the Tuesday Democratic primary. Under Washington state’s primary system, the top two vote-getters go on to November, regardless of party.

Cantwell is Washington’s junior senator and the ranking member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Hutchison, a former GOP state party chair, was finishing second in the voting.

Cantwell took 570,120 votes, or 55.74 percent, to her closest challenger, Hutchison’s 244,925 votes, or 23.83 percent, in the initial count on Tuesday.

In Clallam County, the totals were 9,732, or 52.76 percent, for Cantwell while Hutchison won 5,209 votes, or 28.24 percent.

In Jefferson County, the initial totals were 7,410 votes, or 65.73 percent, for Cantwell, and 2,194 votes, or 19.46 percent, for Hutchison.

In the primary for the 6th District congressional seat held by four-term incumbent Kilmer, a Port Angeles native, Kilmer, a Democrat living in Gig Harbor, won 73,604 votes, or 64.18 percent, and Dightman had 37,161 votes or 32.04 percent, districtwide in the initial count of ballots Tuesday.

Progressive Party candidate Tyler Myles Vega of Tacoma came in third with 3,912 votes, or 3.41 percent, districtwide.

In Clallam County, Kilmer won 11,074 votes, or 59.22 percent, while Dightman won 7,114 votes, or 38.04 percent.

In Jefferson County, Kilmer won 7,867 votes or 68.87 percent, while Dightman won 2,924 votes,or 25.6 percent.

In a closely watched open congressional race, Republican Dino Rossi was leading a crowded ballot and easily advanced to the general election. Rossi is a former state senator who had unsuccessful runs for governor and U.S. Senate.

Incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert is retiring from the 8th Congressional District after more than a decade.

Among the dozen candidates on the ballot, one of three Democrats are expected to advance: pediatrician Kim Schrier, attorney Jason Rittereiser, or former federal public-health official Shannon Hader. Schier took an early lead among the group Tuesday night for the second spot, followed closely by Rittereiser.

Washington is a vote-by-mail state, and voters had a deadline of 8 p.m. to have their ballot postmarked or placed in a drop box. In some of the more competitive races, results may not be known for days as most counties will update vote counts only once a day.