Incumbent Sen. Patty Murray, a Democrat, and Republican challenger Chris Vance advance to the November election for U.S. Senate.
Incumbent Sen. Patty Murray and her top Republican challenger, Chris Vance, advanced to the November general election for U.S. Senate in Tuesday’s primary.
Murray, a Democrat who’s been in the Senate 24 years, had a big lead in a crowded field in Tuesday’s returns. In all, 16 candidates challenged Murray in the primary. But few besides Vance had any elected experience and none had raised significant campaign contributions.
Murray captured 53 percent of Tuesday’s returns and Vance had 28 percent. The nearest challenger had just 4 percent.
Ballot counting will continue through the week.
In four previous Senate primaries, Murray won more than 50 percent of the vote just once, in 2004 when she received 54 percent. Her closest general election was in 2010 when she beat Republican Dino Rossi with 52 percent.
A former state representative, Metropolitan King County Council member and state GOP chairman, Vance faces an uphill climb in the general election. He has raised $293,000 in contributions, according to the latest federal reports. Murray has collected $11.4 million.
Vance may have also turned off some Republican voters with his “Never Trump” stance.
Murray led in 33 of 39 counties Tuesday; Vance led in the other six.
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With voters seemingly mad at congressional gridlock and politics as usual, the Vance-Murray contest is shaping up as a competition for who can claim to be the most effective compromiser.
Vance has made compromise for the sake of economic progress a main plank of his campaign. He is calling for reducing the $19 trillion national debt through a bipartisan 2010 plan known as Simpson-Bowles. Murray has stressed her record for working with Republicans on high-profile issues such as the federal budget, education and responding to the Zika virus.
A statewide debate coalition is planning for three televised Senate debates before the Nov. 8 election. But details hadn’t been worked out before the primary, according to a coalition spokesman.