NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

Ready, set, match! Fall congressional contests taking shape thanks to today’s election

Back in May, more than fifty indi­vid­u­als filed paper­work (either in per­son, by mail, or elec­tron­i­cal­ly) to for­mal­ly declare their can­di­da­cies for Unit­ed States House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives in one of Wash­ing­ton’s ten con­gres­sion­al dis­tricts.

By the time the August win­now­ing elec­tion is cer­ti­fied lat­er this month, only twen­ty will be left, with near­ly half of them incum­bents.

In a cou­ple of dis­tricts, it’s not clear who will be mov­ing on to Novem­ber just yet, but in the oth­er eight, it seems pret­ty safe to project the win­ners.

Here’s a run­down of what to expect this Novem­ber.

1st Dis­trict: Suzan Del­Bene ver­sus a Repub­li­can to be deter­mined

In the 1st Dis­trict, Suzan Del­Bene is hav­ing a great night. She’s win­ning more votes than all her oppo­nents com­bined and has an out­right major­i­ty, despite hav­ing six oppo­nents (more than any oth­er incum­bent). It’s not clear yet who her oppo­nent will be — sur­pris­ing­ly, the can­di­date recruit­ed by the Repub­li­can estab­lish­ment to chal­lenge her (Pedro Celis) is run­ning behind a Repub­li­can with no cred­i­bil­i­ty or name ID. This post offers a more in-depth look at the results in the 1st.

2nd Dis­trict: Rick Larsen ver­sus B.J. Guil­lot

Incum­bent Rick Larsen did not face a strong chal­lenge in this elec­tion. He has 56.52% of the vote and will face sec­ond-place fin­ish­er B.J. Guil­lot, a Repub­li­can. Inde­pen­dent Mike Lapointe gar­nered over 11% of the vote — a decent show­ing for an inde­pen­dent with no mon­ey, but still dead last in this three-man race.

3rd Dis­trict: Jaime Her­rera-Beut­ler ver­sus Bob Dingeth­al

Two-term Repub­li­can incum­bent Jaime Her­rera-Beut­ler, as expect­ed, will face Demo­c­rat Bob Dingeth­al in Novem­ber. Dingeth­al is an accom­plished busi­ness­man and com­mu­ni­ty leader with deep roots in the dis­trict; he has been wag­ing a vig­or­ous cam­paign. Her­rera-Beut­ler had one oth­er chal­lenger, Repub­li­can Michael Delavar, who will not be mov­ing on. He’s got over 12% of the vote.

4th Dis­trict: Clint Didi­er (like­ly) ver­sus Dan New­house (like­ly)

Doc Hast­ings’ deci­sion to retire in the 4th Dis­trict yield­ed an unusu­al open seat con­test this year that attract­ed twelve can­di­dates, most of them Repub­li­cans. Sad­ly, because Wash­ing­ton uses a stu­pid, deeply flawed sys­tem for select­ing can­di­dates called “Top Two” in place of a real pri­ma­ry, it is pos­si­ble to have two can­di­dates from the same par­ty com­pet­ing against each oth­er through Novem­ber, leav­ing vot­ers of dif­fer­ent polit­i­cal per­sua­sions total­ly unrep­re­sent­ed on the bal­lot.

Up till now, runoffs between can­di­dates from the same par­ty had been con­fined to leg­isla­tive and local par­ti­san races. But now it appears that for the first time, a major polit­i­cal par­ty (the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty) will have no can­di­date on the bal­lot in a fed­er­al race, as for­mer foot­ball play­er Clint Didi­er and farmer Dan New­house (both Repub­li­cans) stand head and shoul­ders above the rest of the field, which includes two His­pan­ic Democ­rats and three inde­pen­dents.

5th Dis­trict: Cathy McMor­ris Rodgers ver­sus Joe Pakootas

The results out of Wash­ing­ton’s oth­er ultra­con­ser­v­a­tive dis­trict are much bet­ter for Democ­rats, who will be send­ing up dynam­ic trib­al leader Joe Pakootas to face incum­bent Repub­li­can Cathy McMor­ris Rodgers. McMor­ris Rodgers is so far cap­tur­ing 51.7% of the vote. Pakootas has 28.9% of the vote, with the remain­der going to anoth­er Repub­li­can and an inde­pen­dent. The 5th is not an easy place for a Demo­c­rat to com­pete in, so Pakootas’ show­ing is cer­tain­ly respectable. He’ll have to run a very uncon­ven­tion­al and pow­er­ful cam­paign to put the seat in play.

6th Dis­trict: Derek Kilmer ver­sus Mar­ty McClen­don

In the 6th, fresh­man Demo­c­rat Derek Kilmer is in excel­lent shape. Impres­sive­ly, he’s cap­tur­ing around 58.9% of the vote. Of his three oppo­nents, only one man­aged to attract any sig­nif­i­cant sup­port: Repub­li­can Mar­ty McClen­don, who will be Kilmer’s gen­er­al elec­tion oppo­nent. It does­n’t appear that Kilmer is going to have much dif­fi­cul­ty at all hold­ing the seat that for­mer­ly belonged to Norm Dicks.

7th Dis­trict: Jim McDer­mott ver­sus Craig Keller (like­ly)

No one iden­ti­fy­ing as a Demo­c­rat filed against Jim McDer­mott this year, which has result­ed in a fair­ly lop­sided con­test. Jim (who crit­ics some­times refer to as Mr. Con­gress­man for Life) is utter­ly dom­i­nat­ing his chal­lengers with a whop­ping 76% of the vote. All of his chal­lengers are stuck in the sin­gle dig­its. The sec­ond high­est vote get­ter is cur­rent­ly Repub­li­can Craig Keller, who will prob­a­bly get to move on to the gen­er­al elec­tion and get crushed by an even big­ger mar­gin.

8th Dis­trict: Dave Reichert ver­sus Jason Ritchie

Lazy Repub­li­can incum­bent Dave Reichert faced two Democ­rats in the win­now­ing elec­tion: Jason Ritchie and Kei­th Arnold. Arnold did lit­tle cam­paign­ing and isn’t mus­ter­ing more than 8.7%; he’s the third place fin­ish­er, so he’s out. Ritchie has been try­ing to build a cred­i­ble cam­paign with the sup­port of Demo­c­ra­t­ic activists through­out the dis­trict, and had no prob­lem win­ning the sec­ond place spot. But he isn’t crack­ing thir­ty per­cent in a dis­trict that vot­ed for Pres­i­dent Oba­ma, which is con­cern­ing to Democ­rats. Reichert, who faced no Repub­li­can oppo­si­tion, is coast­ing along in first place with more than 62% of the vote.

9th Dis­trict: Adam Smith ver­sus Doug Basler

While Demo­c­ra­t­ic incum­bent Adam Smith isn’t man­ag­ing to put up Jim McDer­mott-like num­bers in the 9th Dis­trict, he does have a com­mand­ing 63.14% of the vote. His clos­est rival is Repub­li­can Doug Basler, who out­dis­tanced Demo­c­rat Don Rivers and inde­pen­dent Mark Greene with 28.22%. The 9th is con­sid­ered Safe Demo­c­ra­t­ic, like the 7th, and Smith prob­a­bly won’t have any trou­ble defend­ing it.

10th Dis­trict: Den­ny Heck ver­sus Joyce McDon­ald

Fresh­man Demo­c­rat Den­ny Heck was able to put some dis­tance between him­self and Repub­li­can Joyce McDon­ald as the night wore on, but he still has the nar­row­est lead of any of the state’s Demo­c­ra­t­ic incum­bents. Repub­li­can Joyce McDon­ald will be his gen­er­al elec­tion oppo­nent. She rep­re­sents the Repub­li­can Par­ty’s best chance of tak­ing a seat in Con­gress in this state. She’s man­aged to score 41.44% of the vote so far, which is quite impres­sive, and will like­ly be the ben­e­fi­cia­ry of big Repub­li­can mon­ey in the weeks to come. Two oth­er can­di­dates, Sam Wright and Jen­nifer Fer­gu­son, bare­ly reg­is­tered and won’t be mov­ing on.

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