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How the legislative balance of power looks after early primary results

While a large chunk of ballots still need to be counted, early primary returns indicate that the Democrats are on pace to retain their majorities in the State House and Senate.

The party held 57 House during the last legislation session.
and currently lead in 55 contests. Republicans held 41 seats in the House and currently ahead 42 contests.

In Whatcom County’s 42nd Legislative District, Democratic incumbent Rep. Sharon Shewmake trails Republican Jennifer Sefzik 51.06% – 48.87%. Since there are no other candidates siphoning off votes in this primary contest, it appears this could be a close general election contest.

In the 19th Legislative District, which runs from Aberdeen to Longview, Republican Joel McEntire is leading Democratic incumbent Brian Blake 52.42% – 47.4%.

In the Senate, Democrats hold 15 seats not up for election this year and currently lead in 19 contests. Republicans hold 8 seats not up for election this year and currently lead in 7 contests.

During the 2020 session, the composition in the Senate was 29 – 20, with Democrats in the majority.

Pierce County’s 28th LD Senate race, perhaps the most high profile of the lot, is a nail-bitter. Democratic challenger T’wina Nobles leads Republican incumbent Steve O’Ban by a mere 23 votes.

Also in Pierce County, incumbent County Executive Bruce Dammeier, a Republican, leads Democrat and former State Rep. Larry Seaquist 55.57% – 44.3%.

In the 19th LD, considered a swing district, incumbent Democrat Sen. Dean Takko leads Republican Jeff Wilson 14,547 – 11,875. Another Republican, Wes Cormier, garnered 5,436 votes.

In Island County’s 10th LD, Democrat Hellen Price Johnson leads incumbent Republican Sen. Ron Muzzall 51.45% – 48.43%.

In Eastern Washington, an open race to replace 16th LD Republican Sen. Maureen Walsh has Democrat Danielle Garbe Reser leading Republicans Perry Dozier and Rep. Bill Jenkin. Dozier and Jenkin combined for about six thousand more votes than Garbe Reser, though.

To account for intraparty vote splitting, which is occurring in several races, the Northwest Progressive Institute (NPI) has constructed a Party Performance Evaluator. With this tool, the NPI calculated that Democrats collectively have the most votes in 57 House contests while Republicans have the most in 39 House contests. In the Senate, Democrats have the most votes in 14 contests and Republicans have the most in 12.

Democratic candidates are ahead in all but one statewide race. In that race, Secretary of State Kim Wyman, an incumbent Republican, leads Democratic challenger Gael Tarleton 50.74% – 44.07%. Both will advance to the general election.

Loren Culp, Republican and Police Chief of Republic, Washington, will advance to the general election along with Gov. Jay Insee. The Governor is ahead by a wide margin with 52% of the vote. Culp won about 17% of the vote, beating his closest Republican challengers, Joshua Freed and Tim Eyman, by about 9-10 points.

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