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Kim Schrier Secures Democratic Nod in Hotly Contested Washington Race

8th District, a longtime Republican bastion, is a top target for Democrats

Dino Rossi is the Republican nominee in Washington's 8th congressional district (D.A. Banks/CQ Roll Call file photo).
Dino Rossi is the Republican nominee in Washington's 8th congressional district (D.A. Banks/CQ Roll Call file photo).

Democratic pediatrician Kim Schrier secured the second-place spot to take on Republican Dino Rossi in Washington’s 8th District, which could be one of the most competitive races in the country. 

Schrier declared victory Wednesday morning, more than a week after the primary in Washington. The combination of a crowded Democratic field and mail-in ballots left the race in limbo as ballots were still being counted a week after the election. 

But late Monday, Democrat Jason Rittereiser, a lawyer who had been in third place, conceded the race to Schrier.

Schrier had the backing of pro-abortion rights group EMILY’s List, which spent $334,000 boosting her in the district, which stretches from the Seattle suburbs into the Cascade Mountains. 

Republicans coalesced early around Rossi, a former state senator who’s lost three bids for statewide office, but fared well in the 8th District in those elections. 

Under Washington’s top-two primary system, the two candidates with the most votes advance to the general election, regardless of party affiliation.

With 82 percent of precincts reporting, Rossi led with 43 percent of the vote to Schrier’s 19 percent. GOP candidates had taken 47 percent of the primary vote while Democratic candidates combined for 50 percent.  

The competitive Democratic primary drained some of Schrier’s campaign funds. She ended the pre-primary reporting period on July 18 with $655,000 in the bank to Rossi’s $1.8 million.

The 8th District, which has only been represented by Republicans since its creation in the 1980s, emerged as a top target for Democrats after seven-term GOP Rep. Dave Reichert announced his retirement. Hillary Clinton carried the district by 3 points in 2016. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race a Toss-up.

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Correction 8:06 p.m. | Due to an editing error, an earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that The Associated Press had not called the second-place spot in Washington’s 8th District primary. 

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