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Early Primary election results may indicate tough competition to come

A person drops off a ballot for Washington state's primary election Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, at a collection box at the King County Administration Building in Seattle. Voters in the state have the option of voting by mail, depositing ballots in boxes, or seeking help in person for a missing ballot or other issues. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

State Democrats say the early primary results are a strong message from voters who are fed up with President Trump’s failure to lead.

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Despite some of their candidates trailing after early numbers, Washington State Democrats Chair Tina Podlodowski says the bulk of initial results from the governor’s race to the attorney general on down, show voters sending a clear message that they’ll send Republicans who back Trump packing.

“I just think the public is fed up,” she said.

But state Republican Party Chair Caleb Heimlich disagrees.

“It’s going to be a very competitive election year,” Heimlich said.

He says Republicans are poised to pick a pair of state House seats, and one in the state senate. Heimlich also believes both the governor and Congresswoman Kim Schrier in the 8th Congressional District are still vulnerable.

“The fact that Governor Inslee is barely above 50% shows that voters are voting for an alternative,” he said.

Though he also admits some Republican candidates are clearly going to have a fight on their hands.

Jay Inslee, Loren Culp leading early in Washington governor race 

In the races for Insurance Commissioner, Treasurer, Auditor, and Commissioner of Public Lands, the Democrats are taking the lead. Three of these four races are also seeing the incumbent at the head of the pack in early Wednesday results.

Insurance Commissioner Mike Kriedler, currently serving in his fifth term, has 60.09% of the vote, followed by Republican Chirayu Avinash Patel with 27.97%, and Anthony Welti with the Libertarian Party at 11.75%.

Washington State Auditor Pat McCarthy began her term in January 2017, and is leading in early results from the 2020 Primary with 48.1%, but Republican Chris Leyba isn’t far behind with 40.7%. The third candidate in the race is Joshua Casey, who is currently sitting at 11.1%.

For Treasurer, incumbent Duane Davidson is trailing Democrat Mike Pellicciotti with 45.83% and 54.05%, respectively.

The field for Commissioner of Public Lands has seven candidates, with Democratic incumbent Hillary Franz leading at 51.54%, followed by Republican Sue Kuehl Pederson at 21.78%.

KIRO Radio’s Hanna Scott contributed to this report.

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