Wash­ing­ton’s August 2018 Top Two elec­tion con­clud­ed this evening, with can­di­dates, activists, and jour­nal­ists anx­ious­ly await­ing the results at watch par­ties at restau­rants, cam­paign offices, and com­mu­ni­ty gath­er­ing places across the state.

This elec­tion’s mar­quee race is wide­ly con­sid­ered to be the con­test for the Unit­ed States House in Wash­ing­ton’s 8th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict, where incum­bent Dave Reichert is retir­ing. The 8th is the only dis­trict this cycle with no incum­bent running.

Repub­li­can Dino Rossi is run­ning for the open seat and was expect­ed to be the top vote get­ter in the elec­tion, but three cred­i­ble Demo­c­ra­t­ic can­di­dates were all vying for the sec­ond spot: Kim Schri­er, Jason Rit­tereis­er, and Shan­non Hader.

At Kim Schri­er’s par­ty at the YWCA in Issaquah, the crowd was ener­getic and excit­ed, eager to watch the results of the elec­tion roll in.

The con­clu­sion of vot­ing (bal­lot drop box­es closed at 8 PM) end­ed months of cam­paign­ing and can­vass­ing by Schri­er and her team — many of whom were present at Schri­er’s watch par­ty to wit­ness the effects of their hard work.

Their work in this elec­tion, how­ev­er, may not be done.

The crowd of sup­port­ers erupt­ed in cheers when the ini­tial results were first put on the screen show­ing Schri­er in the lead. Present­ly, she has 18.82% of the vote. Fel­low Demo­c­ra­t­ic chal­lenger Jason Rit­tereis­er is a close third with 17.56% of the vote. Shan­non Had­er, mean­while, received 12.6% of the vote.

Less than 1,500 bal­lots sep­a­rate Schri­er and Rit­tereis­er and it could be days before every bal­lot is count­ed and the result con­clu­sive. Nonethe­less, Schri­er and her group of sup­port­ers and vol­un­teers were excit­ed and encour­aged by the results.

“While bal­lots are still being count­ed, I am feel­ing very opti­mistic that we are on track to make his­to­ry and send a Demo­c­rat to rep­re­sent the 8th”, Schri­er said.

She thanked the hun­dreds of vol­un­teers who she said knocked on eighty thou­sand doors and made nine­ty thou­sand phone calls for her campaign.

She also thanked the oth­er Democ­rats in the race who she said “stepped up, stepped for­ward, and gave a live­ly and com­pet­i­tive race”.

The ini­tial results tonight sug­gest very strong Demo­c­ra­t­ic turnout. Schri­er, Rit­tereis­er, and Had­er com­bined to receive almost 50% of the vote. Repub­li­can Dino Rossi, on the oth­er hand, is receiv­ing only 43% of the vote.

“Dino bet­ter be wor­ried,” Schri­er said. “The real fight begins tonight. Now more than ever we need peo­ple in Con­gress who will speak truth to pow­er, who will stand up for aver­age fam­i­lies who are work­ing hard to get by and feel like their politi­cians in the oth­er Wash­ing­ton just don’t get it.”

“There could not be a stark­er con­trast between me, the com­mu­ni­ty pedi­a­tri­cian mom, and Dino Rossi, the career politi­cian. I am in this to serve my com­mu­ni­ty and he has been in this, always, to serve himself.”

While the race is too close to call at the moment, it is like­ly that Kim Schri­er will be the Demo­c­ra­t­ic chal­lenger who goes toe to toe against Dino Rossi in Novem­ber in a cru­cial dis­trict Democ­rats are hop­ing to flip from red to blue.

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