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November 2, 2010 at 9:41 PM

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GOP picks up 3rd Congressional District seat from Dems

Posted by Jonathan Martin

UPDATE 9:41 p.m.: Denny Heck conceded to Jaime Herrera in the 3rd Congressional District race, giving the national GOP a key win for its new majority in the U.S. House, the Associated Press is reporting.

Herrera's win gives the GOP at least four of Washington's nine seats in Congress. The 2nd District race between Republican John Koster and Democrat incumbent Rick Larsen remains too close to call.

The last Republican to hold the 3rd District seat was Linda Smith, who won a write-in campaign during the 1994 GOP takeover of Congress. Baird was elected in 1998 after Smith gave up her seat for an unsuccessful run for the U.S. Senate

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Jaime Herrera led Denny Heck in the 3rd Congressional District, which runs from Olympia to Vancouver, giving the GOP a chance to pick up a seat previously held by a Democrat.

With about 180,000 votes counted, Herrera led 53-47, according to preliminary counts from the Secretary of State.

In the other highly contested Congressional race, Republican John Koster and Democrat Rick Larsen were in a virtual tie. With 170,000 votes counted, Koster led 50.4 percent to 49.6 percent.

In other races, voters appear to be favoring incumbents. Rep. Dave Reichert appeared to be holding off Democrat Suzan DelBene in the Eastside's 8th District, leading 54 percent to 46 percent overall and winning in King County.

Rep. Adam Smith appeared to be holding off a strong challenge by Republican Dick Muri, leading 54-46 percent with 129,000 votes counted.

The GOP victories nationwide in the U.S. House "makes it more incumbent on us to work together," Sen. Maria Cantwell told the Times' Craig Welch at the Democrats' election party.

"The Republicans kind of threw a wrench into getting things done, but now that they've got the House, well that can't just say no and have things not go anywhere. People will just be angry again two years from now.

"It's all about what kind of economic policy we want for this country."


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