Cantwell cruised in the general election by emphasizing key differences between herself and her Republican opponent in a blue-tilting Washington.

Share story

Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell easily won re-election against challenger Susan Hutchison, retaining her U.S. Senate seat for a fourth six-year term.

By late Tuesday evening, the Washington Secretary of State counted about 1.95 million votes, with Cantwell garnering 58.6 percent to Hutchison’s 41.4 percent.

“I want the voters of Washington state to know that I am going to continue — no, I’m going to redouble my efforts to work across the aisle, to work with Democrats, Republicans and Independents, to get things done for our country,” Cantwell said Tuesday at the Democrats’ election party in Seattle.

Cantwell, 60, a three-term incumbent, effectively kept Hutchison at bay during a campaign in which she scored an easy August victory from a crowded primary field by garnering more than half the vote. She cruised in the general election by emphasizing key differences between herself and her Republican opponent in a blue-tilting Washington.

The candidates faced off in two debates, demonstrating sharp partisan contrasts in stances over major issues, including health care, immigration reform, gun control, trade policy and thenU. S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Hutchison, 64, a former KIRO-TV news anchor and ex-state GOP party chairperson, sought to depict Cantwell as a career D.C. politician who has lost touch with her home state. She largely echoed the positions of President Donald Trump, touting his plan for a southern-border wall and championing Trump’s tax cuts, trade tariffs and other economic policies.

U.S. Senate candidate Susan Hutchison says she will not concede until all counties report their ballot results at the Washington GOP election party. (Mike Lindblom / The Seattle Times)

Hutchison, who hadn’t conceded by late Tuesday, stressed the importance of taking on an incumbent and forcing Cantwell to engage with voters. “There was way more passion on our side than the other side,” Hutchison said. “The hardest thing of all is to unseat an incumbent.”

Cantwell, who enjoyed a huge fundraising advantage — $11. 6 million compared with Hutchison’s $1.5 million — stumped on protecting women’s choice, opening trade markets, increasing minimum wage and preserving universal health care through reforms, among other issues.