Tuesday’s primary voting followed an unpredictable election season upended by COVID-19 restrictions on large gatherings and face-to-face contact that normally play a big role in campaigns — though most of the top Republican gubernatorial candidates proudly flouted social distancing and mask-wearing rules.
Hundreds of thousands more ballots remain to be counted in the coming days. The top two vote recipients for each office will face off in the Nov. 3 general election.
Here’s what we know so far after Tuesday night’s tally:
Governor: Two-term incumbent Jay Inslee coasted to an easy first-place finish. Small-town police Chief Loren Culp is running a distant second but well ahead of the dozens of other candidates, including well-funded fellow Republicans.
Lieutenant governor: U.S. Rep. Denny Heck could face fellow Democrat Marko Liias, a state senator, in November. The lieutenant governor presides over the state Senate when the Legislature is in session, fills in when the governor travels out of state and would ascend to the top job were the governor to vacate the office.
State schools superintendent: Incumbent Chris Reykdal and two vocal opponents of mandatory sex education were leading Tuesday night in the fight to guide schools through an unprecedented time in public education.
State lands commissioner: Incumbent Hilary Franz and Sue Kuehl Pederson were leading. The public lands commissioner is the steward of 5.6 million acres across Washington, leads state efforts to prevent and fight wildfires and plays a key role in adapting to climate change.
Secretary of state: Incumbent Kim Wyman, a Republican, and state Rep. Gael Tarleton, a Democrat, were leading the race to oversee Washington state’s elections. The office has been the subject of attention recently as President Donald Trump seeks to discredit mail-in voting (the Washington Legislature instituted statewide vote-by-mail in 2011), as foreign actors seek to influence or tamper with election results and as COVID-19 disrupts voting processes nationwide.
State attorney general: Incumbent Bob Ferguson, a Democrat and a vocal, litigious critic of the Trump administration, had a strong lead. Attorney Matt Larkin, who is the top-funded challenger but has raised only one-twelfth what Ferguson has, was ahead in the pack of Republicans vying for the November ballot.
State Legislature: At least four Senate incumbents dipped below 50% in results that could point to broader political shifts around the state.
U.S. Congress: Former Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland leads in the 10th Congressional District, with state Rep. Beth Doglio in second place. In the state’s nine other congressional districts, incumbents led their races.
Across the nation: Four other states held primary elections yesterday; here are other results.