Republicans could get shut out of secretary of state race
For the first time in decades, a Republican may not compete in the general election to become Washington's secretary of state.
- That switch took away Republicans' only statewide elected office on the West Coast outside of Alaska.
- As Washington's top election official, the secretary of state plays a key role in securing elections, expanding voting access and fighting disinformation.
Driving the news: In early results in Tuesday's primary election, Republicans were trailing two other candidates in the race to become Washington's secretary of state, meaning it's uncertain whether a GOP candidate will make the cut for the November ballot.
By the numbers: In the first round of ballot-counting, Secretary of State Steve Hobbs — last year's Democratic appointee — was ahead with about 41% of the vote.
- Behind him was Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson, a nonpartisan candidate, with nearly 13%.
- The best performing Republicans in the race, Bob Hagglund and state Sen. Keith Wagoner, were duking it out for third place, with Hagglund at 12.4% and Wagoner at about 12.2%.
- Another Republican, former state Sen. Mark Miloscia, wasn't far behind, at about 9.4%.
- It's not immediately clear which candidate will advance to the November ballot to compete with Hobbs.
Context: Under Washington's top-two primary system, the two candidates who win the most votes move forward to the general election, regardless of their party affiliation.
- That means two members of the same party can face one other — or a Democrat can go up against a nonpartisan candidate — and no party is guaranteed a spot in November.
What they're saying: Anderson, the nonpartisan candidate in second place as of Tuesday night, told Axios she thinks the early results show voters "have just been waiting for a candidate who has professional experience without political strings attached."
- Anderson's experience includes more than 12 years running elections as Pierce County's auditor.
- Hobbs, a former state senator, told Axios he expects the November contest to be a tough one. But he said voters appear to be responding to his focus on election cybersecurity, improving voter outreach and combating misinformation.
- "I feel really good," Hobbs said of his 28-point lead on election night.
What's next: More ballots in the vote-by-mail election will be tallied in the coming days, with additional results to be announced throughout the week.
More Seattle stories
No stories could be found
Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Seattle.