Editor’s note: This is a live account of the primary election on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022, as the day unfolded. It is no longer being updated. Click here to see all the most recent local politics news.

Initial results for WA midterm primary are in for races for state lawmakers and members of the U.S. House and Senate.

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray will face Republican challenger Tiffany Smiley in the November general election, with issues like abortion rights and inflation likely to animate their debates.

Murray, a Democrat seeking a sixth term, led Smiley by about 22 percentage points in primary election results Tuesday night, with all counties reporting. The Seattle Times and The Associated Press quickly called the race for Murray and Smiley.

In a pair of nationally watched races testing Donald Trump’s continued hold over the Republican Party, U.S. Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse were leading their Trump-endorsed challengers despite backlash over their votes to impeach the former president.

Meanwhile, in the swing 8th Congressional District — the top Republican target for flipping a House seat in Washington — U.S. Rep. Kim Schrier, D-Sammamish, led the field with about 49% of the vote, Republican businessman Matt Larkin at about 16% and Reagan Dunn in third place with 15% of the vote.

The top two finishers in each race will advance to the general election in November.

For more information about voting, ballot drop boxes, accessible voting and online ballots, contact your county elections office. Primary election ballots are due by 8 p.m. on Aug. 2.

For more information on your ballot, in any county, go to: myvote.wa.gov

Tuesday’s ballot counts were released shortly after 8 p.m. Vote counting will continue for days.

Throughout Tuesday, on this page, we’ll be updating readers on voting and elections in Seattle, Washington state and across the U.S.

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That big red wave? It didn’t reach the shores of WA state

So much for that rumored big red conservative wave.

So much also for the conspiracy theorists, the election deniers (most of them, anyway), and the MAGA right-wingers.

All of these things were not faring well, at all, in Tuesday’s vote count in the Washington primary. Overall, voters in this state seemed to be repudiating the conventional wisdom that this would be the first good year for Republicans around here since 2014.

“Republican narratives have been busted,” tweeted the Northwest Progressive Institute’s Andrew Villeneuve, who had been insisting for months that local polling did not back the media-fueled notion that there would be backlash in favor of conservatives in this state.

There still could be, of course, as there are three months until the general election in November. Lots can happen, including that totals for this primary can and will shift in the coming days as more votes are counted.

But Tuesday’s early primary results showed no signs of any sort of tidal change in our local, blue-heavy politics.

Read the full column here.

—Danny Westneat
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Kent optimistic while trailing third in 3rd Congressional District race

—David Gutman

Tiffany Smiley addresses WA GOP watch party in Issaquah

Supporters chanted "USA! USA!" after Tiffany Smiley’s speech in an Issaquah hotel, standing in front of American flags.

“This is Team Smiley and we have one mission and one goal, and that is to retire Patty Murray,” she said.

“Our family will not sit on the sidelines and let career politician Patty Murray phone it in, for six more years,” she said. “Number one we can’t afford it, number two it’s extremely dangerous when you look at security, and number three is their American dream  for our national security, and three their American dream is being threatened, and not on our watch will we let that happen. We are so excited to be here, and to have a voice here in Washington state. I’ve been in all 39 counties, many of them multiple times, and we are on the right side of the issues."

Caleb Heimlich, state Republican chair, said the National Republican Senate Committee is committing $750,000 toward the Smiley campaign.

Party unity has helped the GOP this time around and should boost Smiley’s competitiveness against a longtime incumbent Murray, said Heimlich.

“She visited all 39 counties,” before winning endorsements in 10 and then the state GOP endorsement, he said. “We wanted to avoid what happened in the 2020 governor’s race, when all the candidates were fighting each other,” Heimlich said.

—Mike Lindblom

Herrera Beutler, Newhouse lead against Trump-endorsed challengers

In a pair of nationally watched races testing Donald Trump’s continued hold over the Republican Party, U.S. Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse were leading their pro-Trump challengers despite backlash over their votes to impeach the former president.

In Tuesday’s primary vote count, both incumbents were placing in the top two, which would secure them a spot on the general election ballot, putting them in position to potentially win reelection this fall.

Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, was in second place with 24.5% of the vote, behind Democratic challenger Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, who had nearly 32%. Joe Kent, the Trump-endorsed Republican challenger, trailed in third place with 20% of the vote.

Newhouse, R-Sunnyside, led Loren Culp, his Trump-endorsed challenger. In Tuesday’s initial vote count, Newhouse was taking 27.3% of the vote, with Democrat Doug White at 26% and Culp at 21.7%.

Read the full story here.

—Jim Brunner
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Reagan Dunn addresses the Washington GOP primary party

—Kori Suzuki

Schrier heads to general election in 8th Congressional District race

In the swing 8th Congressional District — the top Republican target for flipping a House seat in Washington — U.S. Rep. Kim Schrier, D-Sammamish, led the field with about 49%, with Republican businessman Matt Larkin at about 16% and Reagan Dunn in third place with 15% of the vote.

Schrier, a pediatrician, was elected in 2018’s midterm election as the first Democrat to represent the 8th District, helping her party win a majority in the House of Representatives in a rebuke to then-President Trump.

Read the full story here.

—Jim Brunner

Voter turnout at 19%, expected to increase

Washington's statewide voter turnout for the midterm primary election is 19%, though hundreds of thousands of ballots are on hand to be processed, according to the Secretary of State's office.

In total, 924,318 ballots have been counted, with an estimated 272,901 not yet counted. There are 4.8 million registered voters. In King County, voter turnout is 21%; King County Elections' voter turnout forecast is 45%.

The 2018 midterm primary election had a 40.79% voter turnout, according to Stuart Holmes, the Secretary of State's acting director of elections.

—Paige Cornwell
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Takeaways: Abortion backlash in Kansas, Greitens’ collapse

WASHINGTON — In one of the biggest days of this year’s primary campaign season, voters rejected a measure that would have made it easier to restrict abortion rights in red-state Kansas and repudiated a scandal-tarred former governor seeking a U.S. Senate seat in Missouri.

Meanwhile, a political newcomer emerged from Michigan’s messy Republican gubernatorial primary, setting up a rare woman-vs.-woman general election matchup between conservative commentator Tudor Dixon and incumbent Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. And a Democratic congressman was ousted from Congress after redistricting forced him into the same primary as a fellow incumbent.

View more takeaways from election results Tuesday night here.

—Associated Press

King County Democrats, protesters gather outside GOP party hotel

—Kori Suzuki

Incumbent Hobbs advances in race for WA Secretary of State

Incumbent Secretary of State Steve Hobbs took an overwhelming lead over a field of seven challengers with nearly 42% of the vote Tuesday night as he seeks voter approval to serve out the remainder of the term he was appointed to last year.

Nonpartisan candidate Julie Anderson and Republicans Keith Wagoner and Bob Hagglund followed distantly with each capturing about 12% of the remaining votes, with tallies from a few small counties still pending. Whoever comes out on top will advance with Hobbs to the November general election.

The figures will change over the coming days as votes are tallied and ballots postmarked by Election Day continue to trickle in.

Read the full story here.

—Mike Carter
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Joe Kent answers questions from the media

—Daniel Kim

Murray, Smiley advance for U.S. senate race

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray will face Republican challenger Tiffany Smiley in the November general election, with issues like abortion rights and inflation likely to animate their debates.

Murray, a Democrat seeking a sixth term, led Smiley by about 24 percentage points in primary election results Tuesday night, with most counties reporting.

The Associated Press declared the primary settled, predicting Murray and Smile would advance.

Murray received 54% of the votes counted so far in the statewide race, while Smiley claimed 32%, according to Washington Secretary of State data. More primary votes will be counted in the coming days.

Read the full story here.

—Daniel Beekman

Reed leads in race for open 36th Legislative District seat

Contests in South King County and Northwest Seattle, both without incumbents, attracted a large pool of candidates.

In the 36th District, representing Ballard and Magnolia, Noel Frame’s seat in the House that she’s leaving behind to seek the Senate, Julia Reed rose to the top of five candidates, with 53% of the vote. Reed is a consultant and was recently a policy consultant for former Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan.

In Renton and Seattle’s South End, in the 37th Legislative District, Chipalo Street and Emijah Smith are leading the group of four running to replace Harris-Talley, who declined to seek reelection. Street had 40% of the vote, while Smith had 34%.

Read the full story here.

—David Kroman
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Boyce poised to advance in 47th Legislative District race

In a crucial race south of Seattle that could determine the balance of power in Olympia, Republican Bill Boyce is poised to advance to the general election. He’ll face either Satwinder Kaur or Claudia Kauffman, one of two Democrats running to keep the seat blue following Sen. Mona Das’ exit, who are virtually tied for second place.

The 47th Legislative District race is one of many Seattle-area contests without an incumbent and one that Republicans see as key to their hopes of breaking Democrats’ complete control over Olympia this November.

Read the full story here.

—David Kroman

Drop boxes close in Washington state

Kansas voters protect abortion rights, block path to ban

TOPEKA, Kan. — Kansas voters on Tuesday protected the right to get an abortion in their state, rejecting a measure that would have allowed their Republican-controlled Legislature to tighten abortion restrictions or ban it outright.

The referendum in the conservative state was the first test of U.S. voter sentiment about abortion rights since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June. It was a major victory for abortion rights advocates following weeks in which many states in the South and Midwest largely banned abortion.

Voters rejected a proposed amendment to the Kansas Constitution that would have added language stating that it does not grant the right to abortion. A 2019 state Supreme Court decision declared that access to abortion is a “fundamental” right under the state’s Bill of Rights, preventing a ban and potentially thwarting legislative efforts to enact new restrictions.

Read the full story here.

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Same-sex marriage plaintiff Obergefell seeks Ohio House spot, clears primary

SANDUSKY, Ohio — Jim Obergefell, whose landmark case before the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationally, is hoping he and fellow Democrats can make gains in the Ohio Statehouse this year with a message grounded in equality.

“It really just all comes down to: Can’t we all just get along and treat each other like human beings? Can’t we be decent people?” the celebrity plaintiff -turned-Ohio House candidate told the Democratic Women of Erie County on a recent summer evening. “And we all deserve to be part of ‘We the People.’”

Obergefell, 56, won in his unopposed primary Tuesday for a state legislative seat representing Ohio’s Lake Erie coast through Ottawa and Erie counties. He’s now looking toward a November faceoff against second-term Republican Rep. D.J. Swearingen, 36, a Sandusky attorney who has focused his campaign on “kitchen table” issues.

Read the full story here.

—Associated Press

Missouri AG Eric Schmitt beats Greitens in GOP Senate race

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt defeated scandal-scarred former Gov. Eric Greitens and 19 others Tuesday in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate.

Republican leaders have long feared that a Greitens win would jeopardize a red state Senate seat in the November general election. Greitens resigned four years ago in the midst of a sex scandal, two criminal charges that were eventually dropped amid a very real risk of impeachment. This year, his ex-wife accused him of abuse.

Republican Sen. Roy Blunt’s announcement last year that he would not seek a third term set off a frenzy for his job, with nearly three dozen people in the two major parties filing to run. The Democratic race, largely a showdown of Marine veteran Lucas Kunce and Anheuser-Busch heiress Trudy Busch Valentine, had not yet been called.

Schmitt defeated a field that also included U.S. Reps. Vicky Hartzler and Billy Long, and Mark McCloskey, who gained notoriety in 2020 when he and his wife pointed guns at racial injustice protesters outside their home.

Read the full story here.

—Associated Press

What state Democratic and Republican leaders expect in primary

As they await ballot counts, Washington Republican and Democratic leaders were setting varied expectations for how well U.S. Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Kim Schrier should do in the primary.

Caleb Heimlich, chair of the state Republican Party, predicted Murray and Schrier will both be vulnerable if they come in under 50%.

Heimlich said he also expects Republican candidates will look stronger in ballots counted after Tuesday.

"I am expecting a Republican lean in a couple days. Late ballots may be breaking our way," he said, citing "match back" data from voters tracked by the party.

"Historically Republicans have voted on election day in a greater number than the other side," he said, leading to a delayed GOP surge.

Tina Podlodowski, chair of the state Democrats, said both incumbents should be well situated for November if they grab a low-to-mid-40s share of the primary vote.

"That's a perfect spot," she said. "I don't see any red wave happening."

U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Everett, said many Democratic voters stay home in primaries but turn out in greater numbers in the fall.

He said recent decreases in gas prices should help the party recover from months of bad polling.

"I think six weeks ago the headwinds against Democrats were stronger than they are today," he said.

—Jim Brunner
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In Michigan, Dixon wins GOP governor primary, to face Whitmer

Businesswoman and conservative commentator Tudor Dixon won the Republican primary for Michigan governor on Tuesday, setting up a tough general election race against Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Dixon defeated four male candidates in a race between little-known Republicans. She was endorsed by former President Donald Trump and the prominent Michigan Republican family of former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, as well as the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and several anti-abortion organizations.

The mother of four made education a top issue of her campaign, saying she wants to keep drag queens and talk of sex and gender out of elementary schools. She opposes abortion, except to save the life of the mother, and says Michigan should eliminate the requirement for permits to carry concealed weapons.

Read the full story here.

—Associated Press

Seattle Times reporter David Gutman spoke to CBS News about Washington's primary races.

Last-minute campaigning

Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler is doing some last-minute campaigning Tuesday afternoon.

She’s stressing local issues — the Interstate 5 bridge, salmon populations and predatory sea lions — as she faces right-wing challengers fueled by her vote to impeach then-President Donald Trump last year.

"I'm not looking back," she said. "I can honestly say I've done, according to the Constitution, my conscience, and my constituents the absolute best I could and have been very, very honored to work for folks here.”

—David Gutman
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For new voters, dropping off ballot 'my way to participate in democracy'

Tiana Paulava cast her first U.S. ballot today.

“That’s my way to participate in democracy,” she said after dropping her ballot into a blue drop box at Lumen Field.

“I know that I’m just one person, but also every vote matters.”

In her first election, after recently becoming a U.S. citizen, Paulava said she spent a lot of time at home reading about the candidates to understand what people are promising and compare it to what they’ve actually done.

Paulava, who was born in Belarus, said that housing, healthcare and protecting the environment are important issues to her.

Jillian Gauld has lived in Seattle for seven years, and paid her fair share of taxes, but it wasn’t until today that she was able to vote.

Originally from Canada, Gauld, 31, recently became a U.S. citizen, and she popped down to the King County’s Vote Center at Lumen Field during election day to cast her very first U.S. ballot.

“It's really nice to feel like I am actually able to have a voice,” Gauld said.

For her first election, Gauld said that Seattle’s alt-weekly, The Stranger, was a great place to look to get up to speed on the primaries and to see their candidate endorsements.

—Anna Patrick

Homelessness, rising cost of housing draws Issaquah voter

Saba Mahanian, 65, is concerned about the elimination of the constitutional right to abortion, growing distrust in American elections and the lack of strict regulations on assault-style guns.

Locally, homelessness and the rising cost of housing are top concerns for the Issaquah resident.

He said Issaquah Mayor Mary Lou Pauly has looked into these issues, but he thinks more needs to be done to address and fix them.

"The teacher that is teaching the classes in Issaquah cannot live in Issaquah," Mahanian said. "It doesn't make sense for the teacher that is teaching in Issaquah to drive from Auburn or to drive from Snoqualmie."

Mahanian, who is retired, said he was headed out for a swim after dropping his ballot off on a day with temperatures in the 70s.

—Omar Shaikh Rashad

At Seattle vote center, few voters show up

Aiden Smith, 24, was surprised to see only a few voters at the cavernous Lumen Field voting center on Tuesday afternoon.

Driving around the city, he said, he’s seen way more people show up at recent Roe v. Wade protests. And those differences in visible attendance feel like a disconnect to him.

“No matter what you're a supporter of, you should be voting, right?,” he said.

As of 1:30 p.m., King County Election officials said that around 30 people had come in to the vote center, the only one in Seattle, to register, update their voter registration or pick up a new ballot packet.

When casting his ballot today, Smith said that improving Seattle’s housing stock was a top priority. He thinks the city needs to greatly increase it’s housing stock to help meet demand and lower prices and that there’s too many single family homes.

Smith, a resident of Capitol Hill, works in technology and said he has more flexibility to finding a place that he can rent. But his girlfriend is a college student, and he’s seen firsthand how hard it is for her to find anything affordable.

“It seems like the city is more and more becoming a place for software engineers and not for everyone else,” Smith said. “A lot of people are getting priced out."

—Anna Patrick
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More election information needed for those without internet, says Issaquah voter

Barbara Nissen, who has lived in Issaquah since 1965, hurriedly bubbled in her ballot last night. She didn't feel like she was able to do enough research.

"Expenses being what they are, I do not have a computer. I don't have internet," said Nissen, 87. "I know that information is out there. Whether it's good or bad, I don't know."

Nissen thinks more effort should be made to get voting guide information to voters who don't have access to the internet. She tuned into KIRO Channel 7 news for some guidance on candidates and their platforms, but missed the scheduled programming one evening.

Still, on Tuesday afternoon, she made sure to stop by Issaquah City Hall to drop off her ballot because it's important to her.

"I was raised to believe that it's our privilege to be able to vote," Nissen said.

—Omar Shaikh Rashad

Only one ballot box in Issaquah

Voters cast their ballots at Issaquah City Hall to the sound of screaming children on the monkey bars at a nearby playground.

That ballot box is the only one in the entire city.

James Bevan-Lee, who was there Tuesday afternoon to vote, said there should be more locations available for voters in the area.

Bevan-Lee lives right outside Issaquah near Poo Poo Point, an unincorporated part of King County. That means he does not have city council members or a mayor to represents him in local government.

For help with local issues impacting his community, he'd have to look to the King County Councilmember for District 3, which spans large part of eastern King County and includes at least 10 cities.

"We've had like a couple neighborhood issues and stuff and the police took like 45 minutes to come," said Bevan-Lee, adding that government services are stretched thin for someone like him.

The state of the country has concerned Bevan-Lee ever since the Supreme Court rolled back reproductive rights in July, he said. He is also concerned about the environment and wants government officials to give special attention to the issue, especially for the next generation.

"I've got a two-year old," said Bevan-Lee, 34. "He loves being outdoors."

—Omar Shaikh Rashad

All eyes on ex-Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens in Senate primary

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens hoped to complete a stunning political comeback Tuesday as voters narrowed the field for a pivotal spot in the U.S. Senate.

Republican Sen. Roy Blunt’s announcement last year that he would not seek a third term set off a frenzy for his job, with nearly three dozen people in the two major parties filing to run. With control of the Senate at stake, Democrats are hoping to pick up what should be a safe seat in red-state Missouri.

Greitens, Attorney General Eric Schmitt and U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler were seen as leading contenders in the 21-person Republican field. Others include U.S. Rep. Billy Long and St. Louis attorney Mark McCloskey, who gained notoriety in 2020 when he and his wife pointed guns at racial injustice protesters outside their home. Some Republican leaders worried that nominating the scandal-scarred Greitens could open the door for a Democrat to win in November.

Read the full story here.

—Associated Press
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'Just a regular voter' in Federal Way

There are two ballot drop boxes in Federal Way. One's by the entrance of the Federal Way 320th Library. The other, located near Federal Way City Hall at 33325 8th Ave. S, is an all-business kind of stop. Because it's on the sidewalk along the main road, voters tend to drive up to the box, leave their vehicles running, pop their ballots into the slot and then take off.

"I'm just a regular voter," said Alana Moreno before doing just that, around 1:30 p.m.

Larry Beck, 70, a U.S. Army veteran had a little time to chat before going on his way Tuesday afternoon. He's lived in Federal Way since he was 4 years old and sees voting as his civic duty.

"I try to vote for the person I think might represent us well," he said.

Beck said he'll follow along listening to the radio for results as they flow in over the next several days. But what he'll be looking for in the months and years after is to see how legislators, incumbents or newcomers, address issues like homelessness and crime rates, locally, nationally and across the state.

"I'm only one person. With one opinion," he said. "But I got mine in, and that's important."

—Jenn Smith

A Republican vote against Trump

Mark Furin, a head and neck surgeon from Battle Ground, Clark County, voted for Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler and was particularly impressed with her vote to impeach former President Donald Trump.

Herrera Beutler faces Republican Joe Kent and Heidi St. John, both of whom are running as pro-Trump conservatives.

A Republican himself, Furin said Herrera Beutler was "not afraid to say what's true."

"Donald Trump is a demagogue," he said. "She stood her ground, all these others are just puppets."

—David Gutman

Kansas first state to vote on abortion since Roe’s demise

TOPEKA, Kan. — Kansas is holding the nation’s first test of voter feelings about the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, with people statewide deciding Tuesday whether to allow their conservative Legislature to further restrict or ban abortion.

The referendum on the proposed anti-abortion amendment to the Kansas Constitution is being closely watched as a barometer of liberal and moderate voters’ anger over the June ruling overturning the nationwide right to abortion. But the outcome might not reflect broader sentiments in the country as a whole, given how conservative Kansas is and how twice as many Republicans as Democrats have voted in its August primaries over the past decade.

Supporters of the measure wouldn’t say before the vote whether they intend to pursue a ban if it passes, but they’ve spent decades pushing for new restrictions on a nearly annual basis and many other states in the Midwest and South have banned abortion in recent weeks. By not stating their position, they were seeking to win over voters who favored some restrictions but not an outright ban.

Read the full story here.

—Associated Press
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A tandem bike ride to Ballard ballot box

Maggie Mckelvy, 66, was among a steady stream of voters turning their ballots in at the Ballard drop box Tuesday afternoon. She said she was voting to retain Democratic seats at the state and federal levels and was concerned that not many voters pay attention to primary elections.

“I lived through the Roe v. Wade decision, and I see progress being obstructed and stymied,” she said.

For Micaela Newman, 35, climate change was a key issue that brought her out to vote.

“I want the world to exist for my little one," she said. As a public school teacher, Newman said she hopes for policies that will make the world more equitable for her students.

Newman gave her ballot to her daughter Tess, who slid it into the Ballard ballot box from the back of a tandem bike.

—Taylor Blatchford

A vote for 'a better life' amid rising costs

Mustafa Mohamed, 36, lives in Tukwila but stopped in the middle of a workday as an Uber and Lyft driver to turn in his ballot in Ballard. He said he’s voting in hopes that politicians will “make a better life for us.”

He’s concerned about the economy and housing prices, and said he has felt the effects of inflation on food, gas and rent. “It’s becoming unaffordable,” he said.

—Taylor Blatchford

'If you don’t vote, you have no voice,' Columbia City voter says

Ellis McDaniel, a resident of Columbia City, regularly follows politics and said some of the most important issues for him are gun safety, abortion rights and protecting the rights of people of color.

“If you don’t vote, you have no voice,” McDaniel said. “People need to wake up — if the wrong people get into office here in Washington, we’re going to see the same things that are happening in states like Florida happen here.”

—Maya Miller
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In Southwest Washington, a vote against the Republican incumbent

In Clark County in Southwest Washington, voters were faced with a high-profile congressional race, with Republican U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler trying to hold against far-right challengers fueled by her vote to impeach former President Donald Trump.

Dan Patten, a retired Army Ranger who lives north of Battle Ground, has had enough of Herrera Beutler.

He was fed up with inflation, fed up with what he called a southern border that was "wide the hell open," and upset that his representative hadn't supported the president of her party.

The Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, he said, was a "Democrat political ploy" to make sure Trump never held office again.

"I can't do it anymore, she's a RINO," he said of Herrera Beutler, using an acronym for Republican In Name Only. "You threw the guy who was doing a good job under the bus."

—David Gutman

Herrera Beutler primary now among top targets for outside PAC spending

Outside groups have poured more than $4.3 million into Southwest Washington's 3rd Congressional District primary, vaulting it into the top ten House races for such spending nationally, according to OpenSecrets, the nonpartisan campaign finance tracking group.

The gush of cash has about doubled in just the past week as Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, fights for her political survival amid backlash over her vote to impeach Donald Trump last year.

The bulk of that PAC money — nearly $2.5 million — has gone into ads attacking Joe Kent, Herrera Beutler's Trump-endorsed challenger.

Another slice has been dedicated to boosting Heidi St. John, another Republican challenger who has feuded with Kent. That ostensible "support" for St. John appears calculated at chipping away at Kent's totals. A PAC funding the effort timed its filings to avoid disclosing its donors until weeks after the primary.

With the GOP field so divided (state Rep. Vicki Kraft, R-Vancouver, is also on the ballot) Democrats have united behind one candidate, Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, boosting her chances of placing in the top two and advancing to November.

Meanwhile, about $1.5 million in outside PAC money has been spent similarly trying to squeeze Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Sunnyside, through the primary against his Trump-endorsed challenger Loren Culp, several other Republicans and one Democrat.

—Jim Brunner

Columbia City native casts vote blocks from where she grew up

Kelsey Mesher works for the Transportation Choices Coalition, so improving public transit is at the top of her list of priorities, she said. She rode up to the ballot box on her electric-assisted bike Tuesday morning just before 9. The Columbia City native grew up just blocks away from the drop-off location.

“Obviously if abortion rights were on the ballot, that would be my top choice,” Mesher added, as she got back on her bike and peddled away.

—Maya Miller

How is your ballot counted?

—Erika Schultz and Lauren Frohne

Funding for education pushes voter to ballot box

Funding for education drove Linda Beck to the ballot box. She has two kids in the Seattle Public School district, one at Garfield High School and one at Washington Middle School, and she’s worried the district won’t adequately fund arts, foreign language and college readiness courses, such as Advanced Placement classes.

“This is Seattle,” Beck said, “why can’t we fund our schools properly?”

Beck, who has a PhD in French and Italian literature, has been teaching her children French. She and her husband save up money for their kids to take music lessons, she said. She worries that consistently lacking funding for arts and college preparatory courses will set up middle and lower income students for failure, she said.

—Maya Miller

Hillman City voter says this election feels particularly important

Kim Larsen of Hillman City said she has never missed an election before, but participating this year felt especially important.

“I am absolutely crazed about the restrictions on women’s freedoms,” Larsen said after dropping her ballot off at a Columbia City drop box. She said she’ll vote to keep Democrats in power, but wishes the party would embrace more progressive stances.

—Maya Miller

Voter moved by national events casts vote in Burien

Sandra Strayer, who dropped off her ballot in Burien Tuesday morning, said she's been moved by national events heading into this election.

"We want to maintain the ability to have power over our own bodies," she said.

She said she voted for candidates who promote diversity, inclusivity, and environmental and green practices. She's hoping Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Pramila Jayapal retain their seats, she said.

—Jenn Smith

Voter considers reproductive health care, LGBTQ rights as she casts ballot

Sophia Ferguson, 27, who lives in Ravenna and works in retail, deposited her ballot at a Green Lake drop box. She said “it’s frightening to see how much reproductive health care rights have been rolled back.” In the future, she expects reproductive care to “greatly affect” her day to day needs. She said she also voted to stand up for LGBTQ rights.

—Michelle Baruchman

Burien voter says his parents taught him 'every vote counts'

Kerry O'Grady, 59, used the King County election guide to prepare to vote. He dropped off his ballot along with his girlfriend's in Burien Tuesday morning.

His parents taught him that "every vote counts," so he participates in every local and major election, he said.

This cycle, he said he's keeping an eye on the state Senate races.

—Jenn Smith

Maple Leaf voter on what he considers when voting

Steve Brown, 45, a software engineer in Maple Leaf, said he cares about supporting candidates who “are excited about building more housing.” However, he said in this election, he was more focused on voting against candidates who didn’t align with his values.

—Michelle Baruchman

Burien voter drops off family's ballots, says 'we vote as a bloc'

Ben Schlemmer, 19, stopped at the ballot drop box in Burien Town Square Park to drop off three ballots for their family.

"My mother and father used to vote differently but now they vote together. He came from a super conservative family while she's a self-made progressive during college years. So now we vote as a bloc," Schlemmer said.

To prepare, Schlemmer thumbed through the entire King County election guide and looked online for information on issues and candidates. "What I was mostly looking for was newer blood and people who aren't that corporately tied," Schlemmer said.

—Jenn Smith

Columbia City voter shares appreciation for 24-hour ballot drop boxes

Marcia Woods, who voted in Columbia City, said there was no single issue pushing her to vote. She was so excited to take a photo with the ballot drop box that she nearly forgot to drop off her ballot. Woods said she plans to post her voting photo on Facebook.

She said loves how the 24-hour drop-off locations and the option to vote by mail for free make voting accessible and easy for a lot of people, increasing turnout. Each election she encourages friends and family to participate, she said. 

—Maya Miller

DelBene arrives in Taiwan as part of congressional delegation

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and members of a congressional delegation arrived in Taiwan late Tuesday. Pelosi is the highest-ranking American official in 25 years to visit the self-ruled island claimed by China. The visit has been met with pushback from Beijing. In the U.S., 26 Republican lawmakers issued a statement of rare bipartisan support for the Democratic speaker.

Suzan DelBene, who represents Washington’s 1st Congressional District, is part of the delegation in Taiwan. DelBene is vying for her sixth term in office.

Hottest WA state Legislature races to watch in midterm primary

Republicans are pushing hard this year to capitalize on a tough political environment for Democrats and take over the state House and/or state Senate.

In most districts, Tuesday’s top-two primary is a temperature check for the November general election, because it’s been clear for months which candidates will likely advance.

Here are some of the hottest state Legislature races to watch.

—Daniel Beekman

Seattle voters share why gun control is a main focus this election

Carrie Shaw, 45, a university professor, dropped her ballot off at Green Lake Tuesday morning. She said she wanted to vote for candidates who supported gun control measures. She grew up in a Kentucky county where a mass shooting occurred, so “it’s always on my mind,” she said. Police shot her dad’s best friend in his own home in the late 1980s, she said, so “I’ve always been skeptical of guns — even in the hands of cops.” She said gun measures are always in a stalemate and “we can’t backslide.”

Karen King, 65, who is retired and lives in Ravenna, deposited her ballot at the same drop box. She said she was focused on supporting “common sense” gun control measures.

—Michelle Baruchman

Where to find your closest WA ballot box to vote in the midterm primary

If you haven’t yet voted in Washington state’s primary election, you can stop by a ballot drop box Tuesday. Your vote will be counted as long as you deposit your ballot in an official drop box by 8 p.m. Many people in Washington state vote by mail, but elections officials recommended doing so by last Friday because ballots must be postmarked by Election Day.

Here's where to find a nearby drop box.

—Daniel Beekman

'We can't lose control of the Senate,' voter at Green Lake says

Barb Bosone, 66, dropped off her ballot at a Green Lake drop box Tuesday morning. She said as a Democrat, she voted for Patty Murray for her stance on abortion rights. “We can’t lose control of the Senate. Abortion rights are too important.”

—Michelle Baruchman

Seattle Times editorial board endorsements for the Aug. 2 primary

The Seattle Times editorial board has interviewed candidates and made recommendations for some of the most important political jobs in the state. Ballots must be put in drop boxes by 8 p.m. or postmarked by Aug. 2.

Check out candidate endorsements from the Seattle Times editorial board here.

—The Seattle Times editorial board

Trump revenge? Biden backlash? 6 things to watch for in Washington’s Tuesday primary

Vote counting begins Tuesday in Washington’s primary, narrowing the field in more than 500 congressional, legislative and local races across the state to the top two candidates, who will move on to the Nov. 8 general election.

Here are six things to watch for.

—Jim Brunner and David Gutman

King County turnout lagging in early ballot returns

King County turnout is lagging behind previous elections, according to early ballot statistics.

Turnout was about 19% as of midday Monday, according to King County Elections. That's well behind the 2020 figure for the Monday before the primary, when turnout was at 26%. It's also behind the corresponding figure for the last mid-term elections in 2018, when turnout was 23% at the same time.

King County Elections had forecast a turnout of about 45% for the primary, but is not on pace to hit that number, Halei Watkins, a spokesperson, said.

"We are expecting to see busy drop boxes all the way until 8 p.m.," Watkins said, and they are prepared to collect over 200,000 ballots from drop boxes on Tuesday.

—David Gutman