Early primary results lean toward incumbents

By Dennis Box-The Courier-Herald

Voters took to the polls Tuesday in the state's first top-two primary election and incumbents were winning in most races, including in the 31st Legislative District.

The Pierce County Auditor's office posted early results Wednesday morning on its Web site. The office will continue updating results until the election is certified Sept. 3.

The top-two primary means the two candidates with the most votes, regardless of party affiliation, advance to the general election in November.

Early returns indicated the two races for state representative from the 31st District appeared to be following the pattern of incumbents coming out on top.

Rep. Chris Hurst, D-Greenwater, running for his second term, was winning with a 56 percent margin, 4,051 votes, for the position 2 seat.

His two Republican challengers, Josh Hulburt from Enumclaw and Sharon Hanek, who lives near Bonney Lake, are in a close race for the second spot on the ballot. Hulburt was holding the edge Wednesday with 1,673 votes and 23 percent. Haneck had picked up 1,499 votes for nearly 21 percent.

In the other 31st District House race, for the Position 1 seat, Republican Dan Roach from Bonney Lake, the incumbent, was holding the lead over challenger Ron Weigelt, D-Buckley. Weigelt had 3,166 votes with 43 percent and Roach had nearly 57 percent with 4,165 votes.

In the 8th Congressional District race, the top two finishers were incumbent Republican Dave Reichert and Darcy Burner, a Democrat. Reichert was leading with 47 percent, 36,970 votes, to Burner's 44 percent, 34,393 votes.

In a statewide race, Gov. Chris Gregoire, a Democrat, was holding an edge over Republican challenger Dino Rossi, 49 percent to 45 percent. Gregoire had 38,188 votes and Rossi 35,033. As expected Rossi and Gregoire will go head-to-head in the general election.

The superintendent of public instruction race has drawn considerable interest with Randy Dorn trying to unseat Terry Bergeson. Dorn was trailing with 22,390 votes and nearly 33 percent. Bergeson had nearly 41 percent with 27,974 votes.

Reach Dennis Box at or 360-802-8209.

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