Kim Schrier leads in Washington's 8th Congressional District
Democratic U.S. Rep. Kim Schrier was ahead of Republican Matt Larkin in early election returns Tuesday, putting her within arms' reach of a third term representing Washington state's 8th Congressional District.
Why it matters: The race has been considered one of a handful of toss-ups that will decide which party controls the House.
Context: The 8th District, a former Republican stronghold, turned blue for the first time with Schrier's 2018 election. It includes suburbs east of Seattle as well as part of Central Washington.
The latest: Schrier led in early ballot counts by nearly 6 percentage points (52.7% over 46.9%), according to Washington's secretary of state's office. More votes will be counted in the coming days.
Catch up quick: On the campaign trail, the candidates split on abortion rights and gun control along what has become the traditional party lines:
- Schrier supported the bill to ban assault weapons that passed in the U.S. House in July, while Larkin told voters in a debate he would "fight for your right to carry a firearm and protect yourself with a firearm."
- Schrier touted herself as the "only pro-choice woman doctor in all of Congress."
- Schrier asserted that Larkin's anti-abortion stance would play into Republicans' efforts to ban abortions nationwide.
- Larkin has said he would "not be opposed to" a national abortion ban, though he'd "want to see the specifics."
Of note: While Washington voters added strong abortion protections into state law in 1991, those could be overturned if Congress were to pass a national ban.
What's next: Tuesday's early returns are not final. Because votes are still being counted, the results could shift over the course of the week.
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