Inslee takes early lead; 2nd District tight


Associated Press

One congressman who honored his pledge to serve only three terms, and another who didn’t, produced the key races among Washington state’s nine U.S. House seats being contested in today’s election.

The state’s House delegation has five Democrats and four Republicans, and that isn’t expected to change much.

The only open seat is in northwest Washington’s 2nd District, where Republican U.S. Rep. Jack Metcalf is stepping down after three terms. Democrat Rick Larsen and Republican John Koster are locked in a tough fight for what – until Metcalf – had traditionally been a Democratic seat.

In the 5th District, Republican U.S. Rep. George Nethercutt broke his term limits pledge by seeking a fourth term. With 8 percent of the precincts reporting, Nethercutt led challenger Tom Keefe, 56 percent to 40 percent lead, who has been flogged as a carpetbagger in a $1 million barrage of commercials on Spokane television stations.

The state’s seven other members of Congress were expected to win re-election.

In the 1st District, Democratic Rep. Jay Inslee faced Republican Dan McDonald, a state legislator. With 6 percent of the precincts reporting, Inslee had taken 53 percent of the vote to 44 percent for McDonald.

“It’s been a good night,” Inslee said after early returns were posted. “We’ve trenched ourselves very well.”

In the 3rd District, Democratic Rep. Brian Baird held a 56-42 percent lead over Republican Trent R. Matson.

In central Washington’s 4th District, Republican Rep. Doc Hastings appeared headed for another term, leading Democrat Jim Davis 64 percent to 34 percent.

In the 6th District, Democratic Rep. Norm Dicks had 67 percent of the votes with 10 percent of the precincts reporting. He faced Republican Bob Lawrence, a retired Air Force colonel from University Place.

In the 7th District, the state’s most liberal, Democratic Rep. Jim McDermott did not even draw a Republican challenger and easily won re-election. Libertarian Joel Grus and Green Party candidate Joe Szwaya were on the ballot, but offered no serious challenge.

In the 8th District, perhaps the state’s most Republican, Rep. Jennifer Dunn faced Democrat Heidi Behrens-Benedict.

In the 9th District, Democratic Rep. Adam Smith faced Republican Chris Vance.

Copyright ©2000 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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