Schrier leads Rossi in hotly-contested 8th Congressional District

Candidates compete for seat vacated by Republican Dave Reichert

In one of the nation’s most-watched general election races, Democrat Kim Schrier is leading Republican Dino Rossi for the open seat in Washington’s 8th Congressional District.

Early election results show Schrier ahead with about 55 percent of the vote, according to the Secretary of State’s office, which will certify final results Nov. 30.

The 8th Congressional District spans multiple counties from Issaquah, Covington, Maple Valley, Auburn and Enumclaw in King County west of the Cascade Mountains to Ellensburg and Wenatchee on the other side of the range.

This particular race has generated a record-setting amount of donations. Out-of-state political groups contribute more than $16 million to the race on top of more than $9 million spent by the two campaigns, according to the Seattle Times.

The race was expected to be a cliffhanger and both candidates polled closely throughout the fall. Last September, Congressman Dave Reichert announced that he wouldn’t seek re-election in the district, quickly making the open seat a priority race for Democrats seeking to take control of the U.S. House of Representatives. The Cook Political Report has deemed it one of the nation’s “toss up” seats.

Schrier, 50, is a pediatrician for Virginia Mason Medical Center and a first-time political candidate.

Rossi, 58, served two terms as a state senator from Washington’s 45th District in Seattle’s northeastern suburbs. He ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2004 and 2008, as well as losing the 2010 U.S. Senate race. Although he lost all three statewide races, he won the 8th District all three times by at least 10 percent in those contests.

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