Democrat incumbent Kim Schrier leads Republican challenger Matt Larkin in the closely watched race for Washington’s 8th Congressional District.
Election results released late Tuesday, shortly after ballot boxes closed, show Schrier holding a lead at 52.7% over Larkin in a race at the center of a fight for control of the U.S. House of Representatives.
It was anyone’s guess which way the race would swing on election night, with federal election experts saying the outcome was a “toss up.”
The large 8th Congressional District is drawn across six counties, including King, Pierce, Snohomish, Chelan, Kittitas and Douglas.
It is a purple district that had only elected Republicans until Schrier, a pediatrician from Sammamish, flipped the seat with a narrow victory in 2018. In 2020, she won another close contest for a second term.
But after redrawing the district boundaries alongside the 2020 Census, the district is thought to be more conservative than it was before, providing an opportunity for Republicans to regain control.
Enter Larkin, of Woodinville, an attorney and co-owner of a Bothell-based manufacturing company whose campaign slogan — “Make Crime Illegal Again” — has garnered him national attention from Fox News.
Prior to this election, Larkin was best known for challenging Bob Ferguson in an unsuccessful bid for state attorney general in 2020. However, he emerged from a crowded primary field this summer, coming out ahead of arguable Republican front-runner and current King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn.
According to initial results, Schrier was the overwhelming favorite in King County, carrying 62% of the vote. She performed the worst in Pierce County, where Larkin won 58%.
Results from tonight are not final, and have the potential to change, as ballots are still being counted across Washington. Election results will be certified later this month.