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Jerry Cornfield | jcornfield@heraldnet.com
Published: Wednesday, August 25, 2010, 7:09 a.m.

Berkey on verge of defeat in primary

Organized labor and social progressives targeted moderate Sen. Jean Berkey, D-Everett, for defeat this primary.

The latest vote totals show they didn't miss.

Berkey is trailing two challengers in updated results issued Tuesday by the Snohomish County Auditor's office.

Unions representing state employees, teachers and health care workers financed a $300,000 campaign opposing her and supporting the more liberal Democrat Nick Harper. Most of the money went through an independent political committee called Stand Up For Citizens.

Harper is leading the race followed by Rod Rieger, a Republican who described himself on the ballot as "prefers Conservative Party."

Late in the campaign, the consultant for that group, Moxie Media, also sent mailers to voters urging their support for Rieger. No organization, including labor groups, has been tied directly to the literature.

If Berkey is felled in the primary, she will be the only incumbent state lawmaker to lose re-election in the Aug. 17 election.


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