Patty Murray was elected to a fifth term in the U.S. Senate, making the Democrat one of the longest-serving senators in Washington history.
Murray, first elected in 1992, defeated Republican Chris Vance, who was seeking to become the first Republican elected to the Senate from the state since 1994.
Vance, a former Washington Republican Party chairman, had hoped his message of fiscal discipline and social moderation would resonate with state voters long turned off by the GOP.
In South Sound congressional races, all incumbents were easily winning re-election in early returns.
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Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Auburn, was leading Democratic challenger Tony Ventrella in Washington’s 8th Congressional District, which encompasses Chelan and Kittitas counties and parts of King, Pierce and Douglas counties.
Ventrella, a former sportscaster, dropped out of the race this year, but restarted his campaign after unexpectedly advancing through Washington’s top-two primary in August.
Meanwhile, Rep. Adam Smith, D-Bellevue, was coasting to victory in Washington’s 9th Congressional District, which includes part of Tacoma as well as Federal Way, South Seattle and Bellevue. Smith was far ahead of Republican Doug Basler, who runs a small television advertising agency in Kent.
In the 6th Congressional District, which encompasses much of Tacoma as well as the Olympic and Kitsap peninsulas, the Associated Press declared Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, a winner over Republican challenger Todd Bloom, a certified public accountant and Navy veteran.
Rep. Denny Heck, D-Olympia, won in the 10th Congressional District, according to the AP, fending off a challenge from Republican Jim Postma, a retired engineer. The 10th District includes parts of Pierce, Thurston and Mason counties.
Farther south, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, was the projected winner over state Rep. Jim Moeller, D-Vancouver, in her bid for re-election. Herrera Beutler represents Washington’s 3rd Congressional District, which includes several counties in southwest Washington as well as the southern part of Thurston County.