EVERETT — A recount is needed to determine who will oppose Democratic Congressman Rick Larsen in the general election.
Challengers Brian Luke and Gary Franco are separated by fewer than 100 votes in a duel for the runner-up spot in the Aug. 7 primary. Only a handful of ballots are left to count in the 2nd Congressional District race, according to county election officials.
If the two remain this close, it will trigger a machine recount of the roughly 156,200 ballots cast in this race. A recount cannot begin until after results from the statewide primary are certified by Secretary of State Kim Wyman on Aug. 24.
“I’m excited at the possibility,” said Luke, 45, of Lynnwood. A grocery department manager, he ran against Larsen in 2016 but did not make it past the primary.
“This would give me a chance to address foreign policy and the national debt,” he said. “This also would be great exposure for the Libertarian Party. It would show people the Libertarian Party is out there and running candidates.”
Franco, 66, of Lopez Island, is the former owner and operator of Madrona Farms. He said he was “pleasantly surprised” to see the closely grouped vote totals for four of the five men opposing Larsen in the primary.
“It has been quite a horse race,” he said. “I’m chomping at the bit. I just want to be on stage with Rickie.”
Larsen is seeking a 10th term serving the district which encompasses all of Island and San Juan counties, plus western Snohomish, Skagit and Whatcom counties. It includes Everett, Marysville, Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace, Mukilteo, Arlington, Stanwood and Tulalip.
Larsen has 101,290 votes, or 64.9 percent, following the latest tally of votes Friday.
In the duel for second, Luke has 12,301 votes to Franco’s 12,235 votes. The 66-vote margin amounts to a difference of .27, which would trigger a machine recount.
Democrat Collin Richard Carlson is currently fourth followed by Republican Uncle Mover and Stonewall Jackson “Stoney” Bird, of Bellingham, a Green.