Republican Dick Muri was defeating fellow Pierce County Council member Stan Flemming in early primary vote returns from Pierce County Tuesday, and both trailed Democrat Denny Heck in the state’s new 10th Congressional District.
Heck was pulling in a third of the vote and three other candidates – Democrat Jennifer Ferguson, Progressive Independent Sue Gunn and independent Steve Hannon – were not a major factor in their first-time campaigns.
Heck has raised $1.4 million and blanketed the district in the final weeks with a series of mailings that attacked the Republican “Tea Party” Congress – and by implication his GOP rivals, who were more busy attacking each other than Heck.
Redistricting carved out the 10th as a Democrat-leaning territory that runs from Shelton and Olympia to Puyallup and University Place. The district is one of three open seats in Washington that both parties believe they have a shot at in the larger national battle over control of the U.S. House.