Olympia, Wash. (AP) — Republican Rep. Dan Newhouse, who voted to impeach Donald Trump, went ahead with the general election on Friday, days after voting in Washington state’s primary, but fellow Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler saw his advantage against one. The opponent backed by Trump was rapidly reduced to a counting field, leaving thousands of votes to count.
Their vote to impeach Trump following the January 6 attack on the US Capitol has led to both facing intra-party challenges.
Newhouse, a four-time incumbent in the Fourth Congressional District in central Washington, and Democrat Doug White were essentially tied, each garnering about 25% of the vote on a crowded ballot. White also proceeded to the fall ballot. Lauren Culp, a Trump-backed former small-town police chief who lost the 2020 gubernatorial race to Democrat Jay Inslee, was nearly 21%.
In the Third Congressional District in southwestern Washington, Democrat Mary Perez was the top vote-getter with 31% of the vote. Herrera Beutler, who had nearly 24% Tuesday night, fell to 22.6% on Thursday night, 257 votes ahead of Kent – a former Green Beret backed by Trump – who stood at 22.5%.
If the vote difference between the No. 2 and No. 3 candidates is less than half of 1% and closer to more than 2,000 votes, a mandatory recount will take place.
Since Washington is a vote-by-mail state and ballots must arrive by election day, it often takes several days to know the final result in close races as ballots arrive at county election offices throughout the week.
An estimated 35,000 votes are yet to be counted, and the three counties where the votes are yet to be counted – the majority of it in the third district’s largest county, Clark, will not update their tally again until Monday afternoon. Counties have until August 16 to finish their counting and to publicize the results to the boards to certify, followed by August 19 for certification by the secretary of state.
Under Washington’s primary system, all candidates run on the same ballot, and the top two votes in each Tuesday race, regardless of party, advance to November’s election.
Four out of 10 House Republicans who voted for Trump’s impeachment opted not to run for re-election. Michigan Rep. Peter Meijer lost to Trump-backed John Gibbs in the primary Tuesday and Rep. Tom Rice of South Carolina to a Trump-backed challenger in June. Representative David Valladao of California — which has an open primary like Washington — survived a primary challenge. Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming is preparing for a defeat against a Trump-backed opponent in her August 16 primary.
In another crucial match in the 8th Congressional District, incumbent Democratic Rep. Kim Schreier advanced to November’s vote with over 47% of the vote, and will face former state attorney general candidate Matt Larkin in November.
With about 17% of the vote, Larkin ousted King County Council member Reagan Dunn, a former federal prosecutor whose mother once held the seat. Dunn accepted the race on Thursday. The district is a major target of GOP efforts to take back control of the house.