Koster to concede to DelBene in 1st Congressional District race Friday

Suzan DelBene

Snohomish County Councilman John Koster said Thursday he plans to call Democrat Suzan DelBene on Friday to concede the race for the congressional seat in the redrawn 1st District that runs from Redmond north to the Canadian border.

As of 10:26 p.m. Thursday, election results showed DelBene had widened her initial 13,000-vote lead Tuesday night over Koster to more than 16,500 votes Thursday night. DelBene was carrying King, Snohomish and Skagit counties, while Koster was carrying only Whatcom County.

"At this point, it would take at least a minor miracle in the final vote tallies for us to come from behind to win," Koster wrote Thursday to his supporters on his campaign website. "I have discussed the situation with my team and it is my current plan to call Suzan DelBene on Friday to concede the race and congratulate her on winning the congressional seat."

DelBene will be going to Congress sooner than most.  A vote was held in the current 1st Congressional District to fill the last month of the term of Jay Inslee, who resigned to run for governor. In that old district, which includes Kitsap County, DelBene beat Koster 60-40%.

DelBene, a former Microsoft manager, previously served as the director of the state Department of Revenue. She ran for Congress in 2010, but came up short against Republican Rep. Dave Reichert in the 8th Congessional District.

No incumbent members of Congress from Washington lost re-election Tuesday.

Current numbers for Washington state races for the U.S. House as of 10 p.m. Wednesday:

District 2 – Rep. Rick Larsen (D) defeated Dan Matthews (R) 61%-39%

District 3 – Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R) defeated Jon Haugen (D) 59%-41%

District 4 – Rep. Doc Hastings (R) defeatedMary Baechler (D) 67%-33%

District 5 – Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R) defeated Rich Cowan (D) 62%-38%

District 6 – Derek Kilmer (D) defeated Bill Driscoll (R) 58%-42%

District 7 – Rep. Jim McDermott (D) defeated Ron Bemis (R) 80%-20%

District 8 – Rep. Dave Reichert (R) defeated Karen Porterfield (D) 59%-41%

District 9 – Rep. Adam Smith (D) defeated Jim Postma (R) 71%-29%

Newly created District 10 – Dennis Heck (D) defeated Dick Muri (R) 58%-42%

This district was added because of population growth and includes Tacoma, Olympia and Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Heck and Muri are each veterans of South Sound politics -- Muri is a Pierce County councilman and Heck was a onetime majority leader in the state House of Representatives.

Also, Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., defeated Republican state Sen. Michael Baumgarten on Tuesday to win a third straight six-year term in the U.S. Senate.

Cantwell led with 59.41 percent (1,129,609 votes) to Baumgatner's 40.59 percent (771,757 votes) at 11:26 p.m. Tuesday. The Washington state Secretary of State website showed 1,637,700 votes were counted.

Cantwell, 54, the state’s junior senator, was first elected to the U.S. House in 1992, but lost her seat in the Republican landslide of 1994.

After that, she worked as an executive for the Seattle-based RealNetworks, became a multimillionaire from her stock options, and in 2000 she challenged Sen. Slade Gorton, R-Wash., and won by a narrow margin.

She won re-election in 2006 over a political newcomer, Mike McGavick.

Baumgartner based his campaign on two main themes -- opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the ballooning of the federal deficit during Cantwell’s time in office. 

As Baumgartner tried to paint Cantwell as just another tax-and-spend liberal, Cantwell returned the favor by trying to tie him as much as possible to the most conservative wing of the GOP.   

"The Tea Party, which you have signed pledges for, are not the values of Washington state," she said to Baumgartner during their only debate. "I go to the United States Senate to hold up the values of this Washington, not the other Washington."