EVERETT — Incumbent Democrats representing Snohomish County in Congress — Suzan DelBene of Medina, Rick Larsen of Everett and Kim Schrier of Sammamish — appeared comfortably ahead Tuesday in early ballot counts.
It could be days until it’s clear who Schrier will face in November.
Meanwhile, it appears certain Democrat U.S. Sen. Patty Murray will face Republican Tiffany Smiley. The two emerged well ahead of the pack in a primary featuring 18 candidates.
U.S. House 1st District
DelBene, who is seeking a sixth term in the 1st Congressional District, will be up against Republican Vincent Cavaleri, a member of the Mill Creek City Council and a longtime Snohomish County sheriff’s deputy. DelBene received about 63.7%, followed by Cavaleri with 18.8% by the first count.
DelBene, a moderate Democrat, leads the centrist New Democrat Coalition, the party’s largest caucus in the chamber. She has touted her expansion of the Child Tax Credit last year — giving families hundreds of dollars per child per month — as well as earmarking millions for Washington’s roads, transit and airports in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. She pledged to steer clear of “hyperpartisanship.”
Cavaleri, by contrast, has been an outspoken partisan voice in the GOP. Last fall, he invited unvaccinated police to apply for Mill Creek’s open positions. He has promised to “hold cities accountable that defund their police” and “hold prosecutors accountable for allowing repeat offenders back in our communities.”
U.S. House 2nd District
Just hours before the election, Larsen was out with his campaign crew waving a sign on street corners in Everett and Edmonds. He serves on the Armed Services and Transportation committees. He’s also chair of the Aviation committee.
Larsen, who is seeking a twelfth term in the 2nd Congressional District, collected about 48% as of the first tally.
Republican Dan Matthews, a volunteer for conservative think-tank Washington Policy Center, lost to Larsen a decade ago. By Tuesday’s count he appeared to edge in for a spot on November’s ballot, earning 18.2% of the vote.
Jason Call, of Marysville, took 14.1% of the vote, good for third in the initial round of ballot counting. Call, a former math teacher and progressive Democrat, is a founder of the Separation of Church and State Caucus and the Economic Justice Caucus.
U.S. House 8th District
Schrier, who drew 10 opponents in her bid for a second term in the 8th Congressional District, collected 49.4% in Tuesday’s tally.
Three Republican challengers lagged far behind the incumbent Democrat.
The top challengers were Reagan Dunn, a Metropolitan King County Council member whose mother Jennifer Dunn held the seat for 12 years, and Matt Larkin, an attorney and former candidate for state attorney general.
Dunn and Larkin collected 15% and 15.9%, respectively. Jesse Jensen, a former Army Ranger who lost to Schrier by about four points in 2020, trailed with 12.6% of the vote.
Dunn, a former federal prosecutor, is running on a platform of “re-funding” the police. Dunn ran for state attorney general in 2012, losing to Democrat Bob Ferguson. In 2014, Dunn plead guilty to driving under the influence. Earlier this year, he opened up to The Seattle Times about his struggles with alcoholism and pledged to take a national role in helping those in recovery.
“Democrats don’t want me to face Kim Schrier in the General Election,” Dunn wrote in a last-minute campaign email. “My track record of winning competitive elections makes me a threat.”
Larkin previously served as a speechwriter for the Bush Administration. A campaign statement declares: “I’m not a career politician.” The anti-abortion candidate serves as legal counsel for his family’s company, which makes parts for water pipes. He lost a bid for attorney general to Bob Ferguson in 2020.
About 45,000 eastern Snohomish County voters live in the 8th Congressional District due to redistricting, putting them on an electoral battleground because the congressional seat is considered up for grabs this year. The district spans from suburban Seattle, across the Cascade Range to rural parts of Kittitas and Chelan counties.
Early ballot results showed Murray garnered about 54.2% to Smiley’s roughly 31.8%.
Murray, 71, who was first elected in 1992, is seeking a sixth term. She is one of the Senate’s most powerful members, serving as chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, as well as a member of the budget and appropriations committees.
She’s also Assistant Democratic Leader, putting her in the vortex of power in her caucus and the chamber. It’s a post right behind the majority leader.
Smiley, 41, is a first-time political candidate and mother of three who has highlighted her past advocacy for her husband, a military veteran who was blinded in an explosion while serving in Iraq.
She has held her own in fundraising so far. She reported hauling in $2.6 million in the second quarter of 2022 and having $3.5 million in cash on hand. Murray, a prodigious fund-raiser in her career, reported raising $2.6 million in the same quarter, with about $6.6 million in the bank at the end of June.
Negative ads targeting opponents in the race started early, possibly signaling a close race. Murray’s campaign ran TV ads targeting Smiley’s opposition to abortion. Meanwhile, the National Republican Senatorial Committee spent $765,000 to run ads suggesting Murray supports policies leading to inflation and crime, McClatchy’s Washington Bureau first reported.
The next tally of votes will be available at 5 p.m. Wednesday
Reporter Jerry Cornfield contributed to this report.