Former Democratic Congressman Jay Inslee and state Attorney General Rob McKenna won the top two spots in Washington's gubernatorial primary election Tuesday and will face off in November in what is expected to be one of the closest races for governor in the nation.
Polls have shown them running neck-and-neck in the gubernatorial contest.
In primary voting Tuesday, Inslee had 47 percent of the vote to McKenna's 43 percent.
Democratic Gov. Christine Gregoire is not seeking a third term.
"Tonight marks an important milestone in our campaign to build a new economy for Washington," Inslee said in a statement, adding that he looks forward to campaigning across the state.
McKenna said, "As they say in the Olympics, the prelims are over -- now on to the final."
As expected, two-term Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., took the top spot in the U.S. Senate primary race and will face Republican state Sen. Michael Baumgartner in November.
In the state’s “Top Two” primary system, the top two vote-getters advance to the general election in November regardless if the top two are from the same political party.
In the closely watched race for the open seat in the 1st Congressional District, Republican John Koster, a Snohomish County councilman, was winning 44% of the vote to Democrat Suzan DelBene's 23%. Longtime candidate Darcy Burner was running third at 15%. So Koster will go up against DelBene in November. DelBene reportedly spent $2.5 million on ads in the primary campaign.
There was also a separate race in the 1st Congressional District because Inslee vacated his U.S. House seat to run for governor, and Gregoire called a special election to fill a one-month vacancy for that seat. In that race, Koster was winning with 35% of the vote to DelBene's 25%.
In other Congressional District races:
2nd -- Democratic Rep. Rick Larsen will face Republican Dan Matthews.
3rd -- Republicican Jaime Herrera Beutler will face Demcrat Jon T. Haugen.
4th -- Republican Rep. Doc Hastings will face Democrat Mary Baechler.
5th -- Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers will face Democrat Rich Cowan.
6th -- Democrat Derek Kilmer will face Republican Bill Driscoll.
7th -- Democratic Rep. Jim McDermott will face Republican Ron Bemis.
8th -- Republican Rep. Dave Reichert will face Democrat Karen Porterfield.
9th -- DemocraticRep. Adam Smithwill face Republican Jim Postma.