Incumbents move ahead in key Washington races: 2022 primary election
The results from this week's primary are still taking shape, but we've got a good idea of who will be on the November ballot in some key Washington state races.
As of Friday, Democrat Steve Hobbs is on his way to the General Election for the secretary of state race. Hobbs was appointed to the job after former Secretary of State Kim Wyman left to take a job with the Biden administration. He's running to stay in the role.
Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson, who opted to run as a nonpartisan, is currently in second place, which means she could be against Hobbs on the November ballot. However, she's leading two Republican candidates by slim margins, so it's too soon to say either way.
If she's successful, though, no Republican candidate would be in the running for the secretary of state position — that's significant. Before Hobbs' appointment, Republicans held that seat for nearly 60 years. Now, they may not even be in the running to get it back.
KUOW's Austin Jenkins says the fractured Republican field was likely an advantage for Hobbs and Anderson.
"As one eastern Washington Republican observer told me this week, this was a major Republican screw up," Jenkins told KUOW's Angela King. "The party needed to endorse one candidate."
Still, as the remaining votes are counted, the tide could shift in at least one Republican's favor for that second spot on the November ballot. As of Friday, the same was true for so-called "Trump-revenge candidates" in the 3rd and 4th Congressional Districts. Joe Kent and Loren Culp, respectively, are trailing in third place as of Friday morning, Aug. 5. Incumbent Republican Representatives Jaime Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse are currently qualifying for the November ballot.
The outcome in the Eighth Congressional District is more settled.
Incumbent Democratic Rep. Kim Schrier is holding onto a comfortable lead in that primary — a relief for congressional Democrats who are fighting to keep the majority in D.C.
Republican King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn surprised some observers when he conceded the race, having fallen behind Schrier and fellow Republican Matt Larkin.
Larkin has been arguing he's the most Conservative Republican running this year, and that seems to have paid off in the district outside of King County.
"If you drive in that district, you're going to see his signs that say 'make crime illegal again,'" says KUOW's David Hyde. "And he's the furthest right on the issue of abortion. ... Of course, now we go into the General Election where some of those same strengths that got Larkin through and made him so popular with Republicans in the primary could make his path to Congress a little bit more difficult."
Only time will tell.
Although, if you ask the Washington State GOP, Larkin has already won; the party inexplicably seemed to call the whole race in a tweet congratulating Larkin, "our next Congressman from Washington's 8th Congressional District."