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 were in the first article. This 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 6th Congressional District

Incumbent: Derek Kilmer (Democratic, fourth term)

Partisan Lean: D+6

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Derek Kilmer (D) 206,409 63.89
Douglas Dightman (R) 116,677 36.11

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Derek Kilmer (D) 201,718 61.53
Todd Bloom (R) 126,116 38.47

Republican Candidate:

Elizabeth Kreiselmaier (campaign website)

Kreiselmaier is a conservative Republican, focusing on anything from building the wall to opening healthcare competition. She also, interestingly, registered the domain cleanupthehouse.com for her campaign website.

Democratic Candidate:

Derek Kilmer (campaign website)

Kilmer is a consistent Democrat in Congress, who focuses his campaign mostly on local issues and liberal ideas. His opponent isn’t spending much or campaigning too heavily, so he should continue to easily carry this district.

Washington’s 7th Congressional District

Incumbent: Pramila Jayapal (Democratic, second term)

Partisan Lean: D+33

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Pramila Jayapal (D) 329,800 83.56
Craig Keller (R) 64,881 16.44

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Pramila Jayapal (D) 212,010 55.98
Brady Walkinshaw (D) 166,744 44.02

Republican Candidate:

Craig Keller (campaign website)

Keller cleared 15% in 2018, and it will be interesting to see if he can pass that marker again.

Democratic Candidate:

Pramila Jayapal (campaign website)

Jayapal doesn’t get the attention that “the squad” does, but she is one of the initial most consistent progressive voices in Congress.

Yesh’s notes: She was elected a term before being progressive gained national attention, but there is every reason to give Jayapal most of the credit and attention that AOC currently gets for leading the progressive charge in Congress.

Washington’s 8th Congressional District

Incumbent: Kim Schrier (Democratic, first term)

Partisan Lean: EVEN

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Kim Schrier (D) 164,089 52.42
Dino Rossi (R) 148,968 47.58

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Dave Reichert (R) 193,145 60.2
Tony Ventrella (D) 127,720 39.8

Republican Candidate:

Jesse Jensen (campaign website)

Jensen is a somewhat moderate Republican, pushing for protecting pre-existing conditions and also for both individual and business stimulus programs to come out of COVID-19. He is pushing for a chance in forest management to help prevent wildfires, a potentially effective tactic given the current issues.

Democratic Candidate:

Kim Schrier (campaign website)

Schrier is a very liberal Democrat, campaigning to move for Medicare for All. Her other positions aren’t as progressive. This district is shifting bluer and she flipped it in 2018 after Reichert

Washington’s 9th Congressional District

Incumbent: Adam Smith (Democratic, 12th term)

Partisan Lean: D+21

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Adam Smith (D) 163,345 67.9
Sarah Smith (D) 77,222 32.1

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Adam Smith (D) 205,165 72.89
Doug Basler (R) 76,317 27.11

Republican Candidate:

Doug Basler (campaign website)

Basler is not campaigning much. He supports President Trump, and his website has a major disclaimer touting the misunderstanding that COVID-19 has only killed 6% of the official deaths.

Democratic Candidate:

Adam Smith (campaign website)

Smith is a consistent Democratic vote in Congress. He is very liberal, supporting Medicare for All. He should easily win this safe blue seat.

Washington’s 10th Congressional District

Incumbent: Denny Heck (Democratic, fourth term)

Partisan Lean: D+5

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Denny Heck (D) 166,215 61.54
Joseph Brumbles (R) 103,860 38.46

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Denny Heck (D) 170,460 58.67
Jim Postma (R) 120,104 41.33

Republican Candidate:

No Republican advanced to the general election in this district.

Democratic Candidate:

Beth Doglio (campaign website)
Marylin Strickland (campaign website)

In a 19-way primary, two Democrats advanced, with no one winning 21% of the vote. Both candidates are very liberal, and both are making housing and homelessness a priority. Doglio is the more progressive of the two, explicitly calling for Medicare for All (Strickland favors a public option) and a Green New Deal-style climate plan.

Overview

Democrats currently hold all five of these seats, and it would be very surprising if that changed.

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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