By Rachel La Corte / Associated Press
OLYMPIA — Republican U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers won re-election to the House on Tuesday from eastern Washington, beating Democrat Lisa Brown.
Two other competitive GOP-held U.S. House seats in the state — the 3rd and 8th districts — were too close to call in early returns.
McMorris Rodgers, who ranks fourth in House leadership and is the highest ranking GOP woman in the chamber, will be serving her eighth term in the 5th District. She bested Brown, a former state Senate leader.
The district is centered in Spokane and has not elected a Democrat since former House Speaker Tom Foley last won in 1992. McMorris Rodgers won an open seat in 2004 and has generally cruised to easy victories since.
Currently there are six Democrats and four Republicans in the state’s House delegation. When Republican Rep. Dave Reichert announced he was retiring at the end of the year, the 8th District became a focus for Democrats, who see an opportunity to flip a seat that been held by Republicans since it was created in the early 1980s.
The race between Dr. Kim Schrier, a Democrat and pediatrician, and Republican Dino Rossi, a former state senator who had previous unsuccessful runs for governor and the U.S. Senate, has become one of the most expensive in the country.
More than $25 million has poured into the 8th District race, with most coming from outside groups.
In the 3rd Congressional District, Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler is facing a strong challenge from Democrat Carolyn Long, a political science professor at Washington State University’s campus in Vancouver. When Herrera Beutler was elected in 2010, Republicans claimed a seat the GOP hadn’t held since 1994. The district became even more conservative after redistricting took effect with the 2012 elections.