It’s primary day in Washington and Wyoming.
Washington has an odd system in which the two candidates who receive the most votes advance to the general election, regardless of party. Most often, this means the front-running Republican and front-running Democrat advance to the general election, but it is theoretically possible, though not likely, that enormous turnout for one major party could leave the other one out in the cold for the November ballot.
The statewide race that has garnered the most attention is the Senate race, where Democrat incumbent Patty Murray is almost certain to get one of the two November slots, and the other will probably go to Dino Rossi, two-time gubernatorial candidate (and, many Washington Republicans believe, the legitimate winner of the 2004 gubernatorial election). Rossi’s strongest rival is Clint Didier, farmer and former tight end for the Washington Redskins, who scored an endorsement from Sarah Palin.
Liz Mair has some excellent analysis from Washington state consultants.
There are also two interesting House primaries. In the state’s 3rd district, incumbent Democrat Brian Baird was a surprise retirement; the Democratic candidate is likely to be former state representative Denny Heck. On the GOP side, the hard-fought primary battle between David Castillo and state representative Jaime Lynn Herrera comes to an end today. This district ought to be competitive, although by no means easy for the GOP, either way in November.
In the 8th district, Republican incumbent Dave Reichert has been a top Democratic target since he was first elected to the House in 2004. He survived Obama carrying his district, 57 percent to 42 percent, so he ought to be okay this year; Suzan DelBene appears to be the Democrat most likely to take him on in November.
four major candidates are competing for the Republican nomination for governor: former U.S. attorney Matt Mead, State Auditor Rita Meyer, former legislator and director of the Department of Agriculture Ron Micheli and outgoing House Speaker Colin Simpson. Democratic voters will choose between two major candidates for governor: retired real estate saleswoman and former director of the Wyoming Democratic Party Leslie Petersen, and Pete Gosar, director of operations for the Wyoming Aeronautics Division and a small business owner.