DelBene, Koster move on to battle for U.S. Congress

Published on Wed, Aug 8, 2012 by Jeremy Schwartz

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Democrat Suzan DelBene and Republican John Koster will go head-to-head in November for the vacant 1st Congressional District U.S. Representative spot after emerging as the top two in a field of seven candidates.

Koster, the only Republican in the race, secured 43.3 percent of the statewide vote after the August 7 primary with 35,134 votes, while DelBene brought in 23.4 percent with 18,965. The closest competitor to DelBene was Democrat Darcy Burner, with 14.7 percent of the statewide vote.

In Whatcom County, Koster secured the top spot with 56.2 percent of the vote to DelBene’s 21.3 percent as of vote counts on the evening of Wednesday, August 8. The Democratic and Independent candidates were more or less evenly split in the county, with Burner leading the pack with 13.2 percent.

Incumbent U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell easily made it to the November general election with 56.1 percent of the statewide vote, alongside presumptive opponent Michael Baumgartner, who pulled down 30.2 percent. Those numbers were effectively mirrored in Whatcom County, with Cantwell getting 56.6 percent of the vote to Baumgartner’s 28.8 percent.

On the statewide stage, gubernatorial candidates Jay Inslee and Rob McKenna, the state’s current attorney general, have moved on to November, with Inslee edging out McKenna with 46.8 percent of the vote to McKenna’s 42.9 percent. Whatcom County Democrats gave McKenna an even wider lead locally, with the former Democratic U.S. Representative from Washington securing 49.3 percent of the county vote to McKenna’s 38.9 percent.

In the 42nd legislative district, which encompasses Blaine and Birch Bay, Rep. Jason Overstreet, a Blaine native and the incumbent for representative position one, pulled down 53.6 percent of the vote to Democratic opponent Natalie McClendon’s 46.4 percent. These numbers were echoed in the race for state representative position two, with incumbent Vincent Buys securing 53.6 percent of the vote to opponent Matt Krogh’s 46.5 percent.

The Whatcom County Auditor’s Office calculated a 26.5 percent voter turnout as of Wednesday’s vote tallies, while the statewide voter turnout was 22.1 percent. The primary election will be certified on August 21.

Following are the statewide results for the top two candidates in the major contested positions that appeared on Blaine and Birch Bay ballots, with Whatcom County results in parentheses. Click here for the most recent Whatcom County results, and here for the most recent statewide numbers. 

Whatcom Superior Court Judge Position 2

Deborra Garrett: 41.5%
Dave Grant: 40%

U.S. Senator

Maria Cantwell: 56.1% (56.6%)
Michael Baumgartner: 30.2 (28.8%)

Congressional District 1

John Koster: 43.3% (55.3%)
Suzan DelBene: 23.3% (21.9%)


Jay Inslee: 46.8% (49%)
Rob McKenna: 42.9% (39.8%)

Lt. Governor

Brad Owen: 49.2% (49%)
Bill Finkbeiner: 24.9% (25%)

Secretary of State

Kim Wyman: 39.1% (40.6%)
Kathleen Drew: 21.5% (27%)

State Auditor

James Watkins: 45.6% (47.9%)
Troy Kelley: 24.1% (22.8%)

State Attorney General

Bob Ferguson: 52.2% (54.3%)
Reagan Dunn: 38.4% (36%)

Commissioner of Public Lands

Peter Goldmark: 51.7% (51%)
Clint Didier: 40.7% (42.7%)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Randy Dorn: 54.3% (53%)
Ronald Higgins: 15.6% (13%)
James Bauckman secured the second-highest percentage of votes in Whatcom County with 19.7 percent.

State Insurance Commissioner

Mike Kreidler: 54.7% (54.9%)
John Adams: 22.8% 22.5%)

Legislative District 42 State Representative Position 1

Vincent Buys: 53.3%
Matt Krogh: 46.7%

Legislative District 42 State Representative Position 2

Jason Overstreet: 53.3%
Natalie McClendon: 46.7%