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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Washington Primary Will Winnow Crowded Fields

Washington State Redistricting Commission

Washington voters have until 8 p.m. Tuesday to turn in their primary ballots. Secretary of State Kim Wyman projects a turnout of about 40 percent.

Among others, the primary will winnow the crowded fields for an open central Washington Congressional seat and a Seattle-area state Senate position.

Washington’s heavily Republican 4th Congressional District runs from the Canadian Border to the Columbia River. It includes Okanogan, Moses Lake and the Tri-Cities. A dozen mostly Republican candidates are vying to replace longtime Congressman “Doc” Hastings who’s retiring.

The primary will narrow the field to just two. And they could both be Republicans because Washington has a top-two primary.

If there’s a mirror-image contest to this one, it’s the battle for state Senate in south Seattle’s 37th Legislative District. There, a field of mostly Democrats is jockeying to replace longtime state Senator Adam Kline who’s also retiring.

Another primary race to watch is the donnybrook in Washington’s 31st Legislative District. That’s where a Democrat and a Republican from the Washington House have teamed to try to oust longtime and controversial Republican Senator Pam Roach.

About half of Washington’s state Senate seats are up this year along with all 98 House positions and all 10 of the state’s Congressional seats.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."