Former Democratic Congressman Jay Inslee and state Attorney General Rob McKenna won the top two spots in Washington's gubernatorial primary election Tuesday and will face off in November in what is expected to be one of the closest races for governor in the nation.
Polls have shown them running neck-and-neck in the gubernatorial contest.
In primary voting Tuesday, Inslee had 47 percent of the vote to McKenna's 43 percent.
Democratic Gov. Christine Gregoire is not seeking a third term.
"Tonight marks an important milestone in our campaign to build a new economy for Washington," Inslee said in a statement, adding that he looks forward to campaigning across the state.
McKenna said, "As they say in the Olympics, the prelims are over -- now on to the final."
As expected, two-term Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., took the top spot in the U.S. Senate primary race and will face Republican state Sen. Michael Baumgartner in November.
In the state’s “Top Two” primary system, the top two vote-getters advance to the general election in November regardless if the top two are from the same political party.
In the closely watched race for the open seat in the 1st Congressional District, Republican John Koster, a Snohomish County councilman, was winning 44% of the vote to Democrat Suzan DelBene's 23%. Longtime candidate Darcy Burner was running third at 15%. So Koster will go up against DelBene in November. DelBene reportedly spent $2.5 million on ads in the primary campaign.
There was also a separate race in the 1st Congressional District because Inslee vacated his U.S. House seat to run for governor, and Gregoire called a special election to fill a one-month vacancy for that seat. In that race, Koster was winning with 35% of the vote to DelBene's 25%.
In other Congressional District races:
2nd -- Democratic Rep. Rick Larsen will face Republican Dan Matthews.
3rd -- Republicican Jaime Herrera Beutler will face Demcrat Jon T. Haugen.
4th -- Republican Rep. Doc Hastings will face Democrat Mary Baechler.
5th -- Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers will face Democrat Rich Cowan.
6th -- Democrat Derek Kilmer will face Republican Bill Driscoll.
7th -- Democratic Rep. Jim McDermott will face Republican Ron Bemis.
8th -- Republican Rep. Dave Reichert will face Democrat Karen Porterfield.
9th -- DemocraticRep. Adam Smithwill face Republican Jim Postma.
10th -- Democrat Jennifer Ferguson will face Republican Richard Muri.
In the secretary of state's race, Republican Kim Wyman had 39% of the vote to Democrat Kathleen Drew's 22%. Former Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels was polling only 16%. So Wyman and Drew will face off in November.
In the attorney general's race, Democrat Bob Ferguson got 52% to Republican Reagan Dunn's 38%; they will oppose each other in November.In races for the state Supreme Court, incumbent justices Susan Owens and Steve Gonzalez won more than 50% in each of their respective races and so were automatically re-elected. In the No. 9 Supreme Court race, however, Sheryl Gordon McCloud had 32% to former Justice Richard B. Sanders' 27%, so they will face off in November.
State Schools Superintendent Randy Dorn got more than 50% of the vote to win automatic re-election.
Secretary of State Sam Reed predicted a 46 percent turnout for Tuesday's primary. But only about half the ballots are expected to be returned and counted by Election Night. Voters were able to cast ballots by mail as long as the postmark was dated Tuesday.
In King County, a proposed levy to rebuild the Juvenile Court and Detention Center was winning but only by a 52-47% vote. A proposed levy for the Seattle library system won 62% to 38%.
In South King County, a proposed levy for the Fire Services was winning 61-39%.
In Renton, voters gave a 76% yes to building the new library on the current library's site.
If you wish to track the progress of your ballot in King County, click here.
More results will be released Wednesday afternoon, with final results expected to be issued Aug. 21.
McKenna and Inslee are scheduled to debate at WSU’s Vancouver, Wash., campus on Aug. 29. Tickets are free and will be distributed by the Vancouver Chamber of Commerce starting Aug. 16.