Rick Larsen (left), Gary Franco (top right) and Brian Luke.

Rick Larsen (left), Gary Franco (top right) and Brian Luke.

With recount done, a Libertarian looks to be Larsen’s foe

A hand tally of ballots confirmed Brian Luke’s runner-up finish in the August congressional primary.

EVERETT — It looks like Libertarian Brian Luke is going to take on Democratic Congressman Rick Larsen in the November general election.

Unofficial results of a hand recount are confirming Luke as the runner-up to Larsen in last month’s primary in the 2nd Congressional District.

Larsen, who is seeking a 10th term, 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.

In the initial election results, Luke finished 51 votes ahead of Gary Franco, an Independent from Lopez Island. The small margin of difference triggered a manual recount of the 156,501 ballots cast in the contest.

By late Friday, the recount had been completed and Luke’s lead on Franco had grown based on totals reported online in four of the five counties.

In Snohomish County, Luke wound up with two fewer votes while Franco lost four.

In Island County, Luke’s total did not change but Franco lost another two votes after the hand tally.

Nothing changed for either candidate in Whatcom County. In Skagit County, Luke lost a vote while the count for Franco didn’t change.

When the results of those four counties are compiled, Luke’s advantage on Franco increased by a net three votes.

Results for San Juan County were not available Friday.

Luke, 45, is a grocery department manager. He 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.

Democrat Collin Richard Carlson came in fourth followed by Republican Uncle Mover and Stonewall Jackson “Stoney” Bird, of Bellingham, and the Green Party.

Secretary of State Kim Wyman is expected to certify the results as soon as Tuesday.

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

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