Voters casting ballots today in state primary

Voters casting ballots today in state primary

Voters casting ballots today in state primary


by Associated Press

Posted on August 17, 2010 at 7:20 AM

Updated Tuesday, Aug 17 at 7:28 AM

SEATTLE - Washington voters are casting ballots today on a numerous races and measures in the state's primary election.

U.S. Senate

The race for U.S. Senate is the main event in Washington's "top two" primary.

Democratic incumbent Patty Murray is running for a fourth six-year term. She's Washington's senior senator. Her leading Republican challenger is Dino Rossi, a two-time runner-up for governor.

The two candidates with the highest vote totals will move on to face each other in the November general election. Rossi and Murray have been campaigning against each other already, anticipating a fall matchup.

Murray is scheduled to greet President Barack Obama at a fundraiser coinciding with Tuesday's voting deadline.


In a race closely watched by Republicans who hope to make gains in Congress, voters in the Washington's 3rd District are deciding who will advance in the campaign for Democratic U.S. Rep. Brian Baird's seat.

Democrat Denny Heck is all but certain to advance through Tuesday's primary. One of two Republicans is likely to appear on the November ballot as well.

Republican state Rep. Jaime Herrera of Camas, a former aide to GOP Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, faces David Castillo, a former chief of staff to the state House GOP caucus.

Voters also weighed in on eight other House seats, including the 8th District, where incumbent Republican Rep. Dave Reichert and Democratic challenger Suzan DelBene lead a field of hopefuls.

State Legislature races

There are some interesting contests for state legislative seats.

In Snohomish County, unions and other traditional Democratic allies have targeted a pair of moderate Democratic senators by supporting challengers from within the party.

It's part of a new effort by organized labor and other liberal groups to challenge Democrats they don't agree with.

Everett Sen. Jean Berkey is in the marquee matchup. She's drawn nearly $300,000 in independent spending, either opposing her or supporting Democratic challenger Nick Harper.

Lake Stevens Democratic Sen. Steve Hobbs is also facing a Democratic opponent, along with a strong Republican challenger.

State Supreme Court

Two Supreme Court justices are fighting to retain their seats on the state's highest court, and voters will decide at least one seat in the primary.

Up for re-election this year are Chief Justice Barbara Madsen and Justices Richard Sanders and Jim Johnson. Sanders and Johnson are the only ones who face challengers, and Madsen will advance through Tuesday's primary to the November ballot unopposed.

Johnson faces Tacoma attorney Stan Rumbaugh in the only race certain to be decided in the primary.

Sanders has drawn two opponents, former Court of Appeals Judge Charlie Wiggins and Pierce County Superior Judge Bryan Chushcoff, which means there's a good chance that no one candidate will draw more than 50 percent and win the race in the primary.