A day after the primary election, it was still not clear who will face incumbent U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene in the race for Washington's 1st Congressional District.
Republican challengers Robert Sutherland and Pedro Celis held a close second and third, beating out four other challengers in the seven-person race, according to early counts reported by 5 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 6.
Democrat DelBene was still on top with close to 52 percent of the vote in early counts.
Sutherland, a far-right Republican, with experience serving on the Snohomish County Republican Party Executive Committee, came in second in early results with nearly roughly 15.8 percent of the tally as of Wednesday.
Celis, who legally moved from Mexico to Canada and then the U.S. was a distinguished engineer at Microsoft, had roughly 15.5 percent of the count as of Wednesday despite a heftier campaign chest.
As of July 16, Celis, the early Republican favorite, had raised $428,925, while Sutherland had raised only $4,601, according to Federal Election Commission filings.
DelBene, an ex-Microsoft vice president, is fresh off her first term in the Republican-majority House, where she served on the Committee on Agriculture (a rare thing for a new member of Congress) and helped pass a farm bill, which was one of the only large pieces of legislation to pass the 113th Congress.
The 1st District encompasses most of Whatcom County except for Bellingham, Sudden Valley and areas to the southwest. It also includes most of eastern Skagit and Snohomish counties and part of King County.
LARSEN, GUILLOT IN 2ND DISTRICT
In Washington's 2nd Congressional District race, seven-term incumbent U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, a Democrat, likely will face off against Republican challenger B.J. Guillot.
The two were leading vote counts reported Wednesday night, with Larsen at 56 percent of the vote and Guillot at 32 percent.
Independent challenger Mike Lapointe was a distant third with 11 percent of the early tally.
The 2nd District encompasses most of Bellingham, Sudden Valley, and southwestern Whatcom County, as well as Island and San Juan counties and the western portions of Skagit and Snohomish counties.
Larsen serves on the House's Armed Services and Transportation and Infrastructure committees. He is socially liberal and has said he will work to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10. He also voiced support for job-creating transportation and export projects like the proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point.
"I fully expect that most of the independent vote will go my way, in part because a lot of the work we've done is on transportation," Larsen said.
Guillot, a Republican software developer and Marysville Library board member, said he had hoped for more of the vote but was generally happy with the early results.
"I wish to at least congratulate Mike Lapointe for fighting a hard campaign," Guillot said. "With these preliminary results the disappointing thing is Rick Larsen had over 50 percent. I've got a very big job ahead."