King County primary ballots hit the mail: Key races for the 2022 midterm elections

Jul 13, 2022, 12:50 PM | Updated: Jul 20, 2022, 9:52 am

(Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)...

(Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

(Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

Washington state’s 2022 midterm elections will serve as a proving ground for a Republic-party sentiment that a so-called “red-wave” is on the horizon, with President Joe Biden and the Democratic party’s approval rating progressively slipping in recent months.

With King County’s ballots for the midterm primaries already in the mail, MyNorthwest brings you a primer on the close races in this year’s election cycle.

U.S. Senator

Sitting U.S. Senator Patty Murray is seeking re-election for a sixth term in Congress. While 18 candidates have filed for the race, Tiffany Smiley leads challengers in the polls, with a June 19 survey of voters conducted by the Tarrance Group giving a 5% edge to Murray over Smiley.

Tiffany Smiley pushes for debate with Patty Murray in U.S. Senate Race

In June, Smiley told KIRO Newsradio’s Dori Monson that her campaign is a “grassroots movement,” pointing to the fact that her first-time campaign has raised nearly $6 million, “individually funded by the people of Washington state.”

Smiley mentioned that Murray has already begun airing attack ads against her campaign, a move that the incumbent rarely employs (Murray’s last challenger was only able to raise approximately $500,000 in campaign funds, and she won the 2016 general election over Chris Vance by 18%.)

Murray is a ranking member of Senate Democratic leadership, telling the Seattle Times that her next attempted move in Congress will be to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act— legalization of nationwide abortion access.

Congressional District No. 8

Incumbent Rep. Kim Schrier (D) leads primary challenger Reagan Dunn (R ), a sitting King County Councilmember, by 6%, according to a recent poll conducted by NMB Research.

Schrier championed free and unrestricted access to greater amounts of COVID testing during positive case rate spikes in the pandemic, pressuring the Biden administration to offer more testing before the U.S. federal government began shipping free rapid tests to individual homes.

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Dunn has vocally criticized the Inslee administration for mandating vaccines for state employment, pointing to a country-wide labor shortage in certain key industries as a problem to be addressed before creating more obstacles to employment. The county councilmember recently sponsored legislation declaring fentanyl a public health emergency.

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King County primary ballots hit the mail: Key races for the 2022 midterm elections