Democrat Claudia Kauffman will face Republican Bill Boyce in the November election for the 47th Legislative District’s state Senate seat in South King County.
Democrat Satwinder Kaur won almost as many votes as Kauffman in the August primary election, but a machine recount Friday by King County Elections confirmed Kauffman as the second-place finisher, behind Boyce.
“Unfortunately, the results did not go the way we had hoped, but I am proud of the campaign we ran,” Kaur said in a written statement after the recount, expressing “every confidence” in the accuracy of the results. “I congratulate the other candidates on advancing to the general.”
In a written statement, Kauffman said, “I’m excited to continue this campaign. I look forward to proving that I am the best choice to represent them and their values.”
The 47th Legislative District, which includes parts of Kent and Auburn and all of Covington, has served as a political battleground for decades, with a state Senate seat that has seesawed between Republican and Democratic control. The seat is open this year because the incumbent, Democrat Mona Das, chose not to seek reelection.
The upcoming contest between Kauffman and Boyce could be one of Washington’s marquee matchups over the next couple of months, as Republicans try to recover from lackluster primary showings across the state.
Boyce placed first in the primary, securing about 46% of the vote. A recount was required under state law because Kauffman and Kaur each had about 27%, with Kauffman up by only 65 votes.
The results were unchanged in Friday’s recount, with Kauffman maintaining her 65-vote advantage, according to King County Elections.
Kaur, a Kent City Council member, was endorsed in the primary by the King County Democrats and the 47th Legislative District Democrats. But she contended with more than $135,000 in negative ads sponsored by Republican political-action committees that spent much less attacking Kauffman.
Kauffman, who works for the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, arguably had better name recognition across the district, because she held the state Senate seat from 2007-2010.
In the primary, Kauffman and Kaur each described themselves as moderates who would uphold progressive values like abortion rights. Boyce, president of the Kent City Council, talked about soaring consumer prices and criticized Democratic approaches to crime and homelessness.