Open primary may save Trump’s targets in Washington

Olympia, Wash.: The two Republican members of Congress from Washington who drew interparty challenges due to their vote to impeach former President Donald Trump were leading other Republicans in the state’s top two primary Wednesday.

Under Washington’s primary system, all candidates run on the same ballot, and the top two vote-getters in each of Tuesday’s races advance to the November election, regardless of party — system observers say may have helped the GOP incumbents in Washington who had been targeted by Trump.

In early returns, Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse looked as if they may advance to the general election with a Democratic candidate in each of their races.

Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez was the top vote-getter in the 3rd Congressional District, with 32 percent of the vote, and advanced to the November ballot. Joe Kent – a former Green Beret endorsed by Trump who faced significant spending against him from another Republican who attacked him from the right – was at nearly 21 percent.

In an emailed statement, Gluesenkamp Perez said that while she doesn’t yet know who her opponent is, “voters across the district fed up with the status quo decided to support our campaign,” she wrote.

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