As we prepare for the 2020 elections, Yesh Ginsburg and Steen Kirby will give a general overview of all 435 United States House of Representatives races. This is a basic overview to introduce you to the major candidates. All Partisan Lean numbers are taken from the Cook Partisan Voting Index. We will update this page as the races progress if anything noteworthy arises.

Washington has ten Congressional Districts, so we’re splitting them up between two articles. Republicans currently control three of the ten Districts in the state, all three of which are in this article. The second article will focus on the other five Districts, all of which are held by Democrats.

Like California, Washington utilizes a “jungle primary” system, where everyone runs in a primary, and the top two move on to the general election.

Washington’s 1st Congressional District

Incumbent: Suzan DelBene (Democratic, fourth tem)

Partisan Lean: D+6

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Suzan DelBene (D) 145,010 58.64
Jeffrey Beeler (R) 102,280 41.36

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Suzan DelBene (D) 193,619 55.42
Robert Sutherland (R) 155,779 44.58

Republican Candidate:

Jeffrey Beeler (campaign website)

Beeler is back again in this race, but he’s not likely to do much better than last time. He is not spending or campaigning too heavily. Beeler is a fiscal conservative, and running against Democratic Party ideals.

Democratic Candidate:

Suzan DelBene (campaign website)

DelBene is interested in building infrastructure and raising the minimum wage. She is a consistent Democratic voice in Congress and wins elections in this district based on it.

Washington’s 2nd Congressional District

Incumbent: Rick Larsen (Democratic, tenth term)

Partisan Lean: D+10

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Rick Larsen (D) 155,009 72.32
Brian Luke (L) 59,314 27.68

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Rick Larsen (D) 208,314 64.02
Marc Hennemann (R) 117,094 35.98

Republican Candidate:

Timothy Hazelo (campaign website)

Hazelo is a small government conservative, pushing back on liberal ideas that he feels go too far. He is also pushing for free market solutions to healthcare. Hazelo barely cleared the second-place Democrat in this district that consistently re-elects Larsen by wide margins.

Democratic Candidate:

Rick Larsen (campaign website)

Larsen is a liberal Democrat, supporting a $15 minimum wage and reducing emissions from public transportation. He also supports a public option for healthcare.

Washington’s 3rd Congressional District

Incumbent: Jaime Herrera Buetler (Republican, fifth term)

Partisan Lean: R+4

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Jaime Herrera Buetler (R) 161,819 52.67
Carolyn Long (D) 145,407 47.33

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Jaime Herrera Buetler (R) 193,457 61.75
Jim Moeller (D) 119,820 38.25

Republican Candidate:

Jaime Herrera Buetler (campaign website)

Herrea Buetler flipped this district a decade ago, though two years ago was her closest election since she took office. She campaigns mostly on local issues, including fighting against Oregon’s planned bridge tolls near the state border, as well as allowing hunting to curb sea lion populations, which puts the local salmon population at risk.

Democratic Candidate:

Carolyn Long (campaign website)

Long made this race close two years ago, and she’s back again and spending heavily to try and flip the district. She is a relatively moderate Democrat, pushing for more liberal solutions to issues like healthcare, immigration reform, and more. She did not perform as well in the primary this year as she did in the general election two years ago, which doesn’t bode well for her, but it’s a long campaign.

Washington’s 4th Congressional District

Incumbent: Dan Newhouse (Republican, third term)

Partisan Lean: R+13

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Dan Newhouse (R) 141,551 62.82
Christine Brown (D) 83,875 37.18

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Dan Newhouse (R) 132,517 57.64
Clint Didier (R) 97,402 42.36

Republican Candidate:

Dan Newhouse (campaign website)

Newhouse is a fiscal conservative in this safe red district. Instead of his early campaign events in April, Newhouse chose to host several blood drives due to COVID-19.

Democratic Candidate:

Doug McKinley (campaign website)

McKinley isn’t yet advocating for specific policies, but he is pushing for generally liberal ideas and solutions for higher wages, lower healthcare costs, lower student debt, and other such issues.

Washington’s 5th Congressional District

Incumbent: Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Republican, eighth term)

Partisan Lean: R+8

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R) 175,422 54.76
Lisa Brown (D) 144,925 45.24

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R) 192,959 59.64
Joe Pakootas (D) 130,575 40.36

Republican Candidate:

Cathy McMorris Rodgers (campaign website)

McMorris Rodgers is a relatively moderate Republican who has represented this district for 16 years. Her margin of victory in races has been slowly but steadily decreasing for over a decade now, though her opponent is less active and nowhere near as well funded as Brown was in 2018.

Democratic Candidate:

Dave Wilson (campaign website)

Wilson is not proposing overly detailed policies, instead focusing on his claims that McMorris Rodgers’ support for President Trump has made the district less safe (in particular about COVID-19, but also in general), and therefore voting her out is his most important campaign issue.

Overview

Republicans control three of these five seats. They almost certainly won’t be expanding at all, though there’s a chance they lose the 3rd–and if the election goes really well for the Democrats, maybe even the fifht.

Interested in the rest of our primers for other House races? We have them all listed on our primer home page.

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