2022 Washington State Primary Election Update & Report

Legislative ,

The primary election was held this past Tuesday, August 2 with legislative, local, and federal elections on the ballot. This election also gives us the first glimpse into where the political winds may blow for the upcoming 2022 general election — and the 2023 legislative session. At present, election turnout is reaching just under 40%, which is on track to match the high turnout 2018 midterm election year. Election offices will continue to count votes throughout the week and updated count information will be released between 5 – 6 p.m. every day until all the votes are counted.

Historical precedent has dictated that the President’s political party will lose ground during the midterm elections and the national conversation has been how many gains will Republicans see. From the initial primary results, it seems that the political environment is relatively neutral and that a Republican sweep is unlikely. Except for district 42 near Bellingham and district 47 near Kent, Democratic candidates are ahead of their GOP counterparts and may potentially stall a GOP comeback in November.

Within politics, there is a lot of time between the three months of the August primary election and November 3 general election. At present, the current results coming out of this primary election cycle seem to indicate that there will not be a huge impact to the Democratic majorities in the Washington State Legislature. However, a close eye should be kept on legislative districts 10, 26, 42, and 47 as they are still critical for state Republicans to make sizable dents in the Democrat’s majority in the state legislature. 

See below for notable election races.

Top Race Updates

Statewide | Secretary of State

In an interestingly crowded special election for statewide office, incumbent and former state senator, Steve Hobbs (D), who was appointed to the position after Republican Kim Wyman left to work in the Biden administration last year, received 40.5% of the vote. Challengers included a myriad of Republicans and Independent Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson who earned 13% of the vote. Republican Bob Hagglund and State Senator Keith Wagoner (R-39) earned 12% of the vote while former State Senator Mark Miloscia (R-30) received 10%. Hobbs (D) will face Anderson (I) in the general election. 

State House & Senate | LD 47 (Southwest King County Suburbs)

In this historical swing district, Democrats and Republicans were spending big to move the needle in their favors. While the district has trended towards Democrats recently, its recent representation of Republicans in the past four years has kept the district in play. This primary election results seem to indicate a continued trend towards the Democrats in the district.

In the Senate race, retiring Democrat incumbent Senator Mona Das left an open race with one Republican and three Democrats. The Republican, Bill Boyce, received 45.57% of the vote. The Democrats are in a near dead heat, with former State Senator Claudia Kauffman receiving 27.25% and Kent City Councilmember Satwinder Kaur receiving 27.03%. It is hard to say where the incoming votes may go.

In the House races, incumbent Democrat Representative Debra Entenman seemed to stave off Republican challenges by receiving 55% of the vote. While she is likely safe in the general election, the attention in the district will mean that she can’t take her lead for granted.

In the open House seat left by retiring long-time Representative and House Democrat Majority Leader Pat Sullivan, a crowded field of candidates nearly evenly split the vote. On a high level, the Democrats earned 53% of the vote, likewise indicating the district may stay with the Democrats. The highest vote getters were the Democrats, Chris Stearns and Shukri Olow, at 33.43% and 19% respectively. But Olow is in a dead heat with the highest vote getting Republican, Barry Knowles, who likewise received around 18%. Later votes will be deciding if this historical swing district will have a surprising Democrat vs Democrat race.

State House & Senate | LD 42 (Bellingham & Whatcom County)

Incumbent Democrat Representative Alicia Rule earned 49% of the vote, putting her in a tight spot of reelection against her Republican challengers. Former police officer Tawsha Thompson will face Rep Rule in the general election, earning 35% of the vote against Fellow Republican challengers Kamal Bachu’s 14%.

In the vacated seat that Representative Sharon Shewmake held before running against Senator Sefzik, a crowded and hotly contested race ensued. On a high level, Republicans collectively earned 53% to Democrat’s 47%, distinguishing strong Republican performances in the swing district. Candidates nearly equally split the vote. The highest vote getters, and the candidates likely to face off in the general election, are Democrat Joe Timmons at 29% and Republican Dan Johnson at 28%.

State House & Senate | LD 44 (East Snohomish County suburbs)

In this former swing, now likely Democrat, district, politicos statewide were debating if the district has truly completely swung towards the Democrats.

It appears that it has with all three Democrat incumbents tallying high vote counts, from 55% to 60%. However, incumbent Democratic Representative Brandy Donaghy’s race, where she earned 54%, there is a chance that she may be in a tight race depending on how many Republicans turnout in the general election as the nominal gap is just over 2000 votes. While unlikely, it is a race to keep on the radar.

 

Primary election results are certified by each county on August 16, 2022. The Secretary of State certifies final results by August 19, 2022.