U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, and her Democratic challenger, Jon Haugen, passed through Washington's top two primary on Tuesday and will advance to the general election for 3rd Congressional District representative. The primary edged out the only other candidate in the race, nonpartisan Norma Stevens of Ocean Park.
In preliminary returns from across the 3rd District, Herrera Beutler received about 54 percent of the vote, Haugen received nearly 39 percent, and Stevens received more than 6 percent. Stevens ran for the same seat in 2010 and also was eliminated in the primary.
On Tuesday night, Herrera Beutler watched the results come in from her campaign headquarters in Hazel Dell. The mood in the room was calm as guests pored over the results.
"I'm excited," Herrera Beutler said following the results. "I am looking forward to going into the home stretch."
Herrera Beutler said the atmosphere at her campaign headquarters was much different two years ago, when the primary results were less certain. Then, six candidates fought for an open seat, and several of them were fellow Republicans.
Haugen of Vancouver said he was pleased with the preliminary election results. He was expecting Herrera Beutler to get more than 60 percent of the primary vote.
"This is another indication that folks are not overly pleased with their representation in Washington," Haugen said by phone after the results came in.
Herrera Beutler said her strategy moving forward is to work on a "get out the vote" campaign to make sure her supporters are registered and motivated to vote in the general election. Haugen said he'll be trying to secure the endorsement from state Democrats, who snubbed him during this year's Democratic state convention.
Rank-and-file members of Congress in both the House and Senate are paid an annual salary of $174,000.