Contested congressional races focus in Washington state

Published 11-06-2018

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Dozens of contested congressional races across the country could determine whether the control of the U.S. House shifts. But when the polls close Tuesday night, it's likely the outcome of three hotly contested seats in Washington state will remain unknown.

Washington is a vote-by-mail state, and voters have a deadline of 8 p.m. Tuesday to have their ballot postmarked or placed in a drop box. In competitive races, results are often not known for days as ballots continue to arrive throughout the week and counties post daily updates.

The congressional races are on a crowded ballot that includes four ballot measures, a U.S. Senate seat and more than 100 legislative contests.

Of the state's 10 congressional seats on the ballot, three are competitive GOP-held seats: the open seat in the 8th Congressional District that spans far eastern Seattle suburbs across the Cascade Mountains; eastern Washington's 5th District, where Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the highest-ranking Republican woman in the House, has held the seat for 14 years; and the 3rd District in southwest Washington, where incumbent Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler was first elected in 2010.

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 5th District, McMorris Rodgers, who ranks fourth in House leadership, faces a formidable challenge from Democrat Lisa Brown, a former chancellor of Washington State University who previously served as majority leader in the state Senate.

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.

In the 5th District, McMorris Rodgers, who ranks fourth in House leadership, faces a formidable challenge from Democrat Lisa Brown, a former chancellor of Washington State University who previously served as majority leader in the state Senate.

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.

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