Update: 9:35 p.m. In what has to be one of the fastest wraps of the night, Suzan DelBene took a call from her chief Democratic rival, Darcy Burner, and then gave a speech drawing sharp differences between her Republican opponent, John Koster.
DelBene then gave a slew of media interviews and is now fielding phone calls, while a crowd that numbered about 100 not 10 minutes ago dwindled to half that, drinking up what’s left of their cocktails, and polishing off the cold cuts and crackers on their tiny paper plates. Volunteers are sharing a few war stories about the door-to-door odyssey and hundreds of phone calls, but there’s plenty of yawning as the tired crew heads toward the exits of the Kirkland performance center.
Update: 9 p.m. Darcy Burner concedes to Suzan DelBene.
Earlier post: Democrats Suzan DelBene held a strong lead over Darcy Burner in early returns Tuesday night in the battle to face Republican John Koster in the 1st Congressional District general election.
Those first returns show DelBene with a 6,600-vote lead over Burner. The district covers portions of four counties with widely divergent politics.
Koster, a Snohomish County councilman in his third run for Congress, had a commanding lead in the top-two primary, capturing 33, 100 votes, in the first return — more votes than DelBene and Burner combined. A social and fiscal conservative, Koster is seen by national Republicans as having a strong shot at picking up a seat held for more than a decade by Democrat Jay Inslee, who is running for governor.
A hard-fought race among five Democrats was dominated late in the campaign DelBene’s self-financed TV advertising blitz. The former Microsoft vice president contributed $2.3 million of her own money –- more than her six competitors raised combined -– in a bid to reach the November election.
The Democrats –- DelBene, progressive activist Burner, state Sen. Steve Hobbs, former state Rep. Laura Ruderman and businessman Darshan Rauniyar –- varied little on social issues and on most core Democratic positions.
But the campaign featured attacks on DelBene by Burner, despite her earlier pledge to not wage intra-party war, and by Ruderman’s mother, who financed a $265,000 independent expenditure.