Rick Larsen (left) will oppose either Gary Franco (top right) or Brian Luke (bottom right) in the November general election.

Rick Larsen (left) will oppose either Gary Franco (top right) or Brian Luke (bottom right) in the November general election.

Recount needed to determine Larsen’s opponent for Congress

Brian Luke and Gary Franco are vying to be runner-up and face the incumbent on the November ballot.

EVERETT — A recount is needed in the 2nd Congressional District to determine who will oppose Democratic U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen in the general election.

Larsen won the Aug. 7 primary in the district that encompasses all of Island and San Juan counties, plus parts of Snohomish, Skagit and Whatcom counties. It includes Everett, Marysville, Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace, Mukilteo, Arlington, Stanwood and Tulalip.

Brian Luke and Gary Franco are vying to be the runner-up, which would earn them a spot opposite the congressman on the fall ballot.

Luke, a Libertarian, finished second in the primary, 51 votes ahead of Franco, an Independent.

Under state law, the small margin of difference between them, .21 percent, requires a manual recount of every one of the 156,501 ballots cast in the contest.

Auditors got the go-ahead Thursday from the Office of the Secretary of State. After each county completes its tally of ballots, Secretary of State Kim Wyman will certify the final count.

In Snohomish County, the canvassing board will meet Monday morning, after which election workers will start gathering up ballots cast in the congressional race. Actual counting of ballots could occur by the end of next week.

Luke, 45, of Lynnwood, is a grocery department manager who challenged Larsen in 2016 but did not make it past the primary.

Franco, 66, of Lopez Island, is the former owner and operator of Madrona Farms.

Larsen, who is seeking a 10th term, received 101,497 votes in the primary, which was 64.9 percent.

Luke was next with 12,320 votes, or 7.87 percent, followed by Franco with 12,269 votes, or 7.84 percent.

Democrat Collin Richard Carlson was fourth followed by Republican Uncle Mover and Stonewall Jackson “Stoney” Bird, of Bellingham, a Green.

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; jcornfield@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @dospueblos.

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