Democrat Suzan Del Bene has won. She beat Republican John Koster in the congressional race for the newly drawn first district. Election returns show Del Bene ahead in three of the four counties.
After the August primary, polls showed Suzan Del Bene trailing John Koster. But last night, Del Bene was sounding like a winner. She says what turned things around was talking directly with voters. She says her family’s early struggles resonated with people.
Del Bene: “My family went through a lot of hard times when I was growing up and a lot of families are struggling today. And so knowing that even despite our struggles, we have to make sure we get people access to opportunity and there’s a bright future ahead, and that’s important, and that we can work together to get there.”
Del Bene is a former Microsoft executive. This is her second try for Congress. In 2010 she lost to Dave Reichert in the race for 8th district. In this race she poured in nearly $3 million of her own money.
Republican John Koster is a Snohomish County council member, and former state legislator. This is his third bid for congress. Koster says he’s hopeful the election results will improve for him as more ballots are counted over the next few days.
Koster: “We ran a great grassroots campaign and people worked really hard and there was a lot of enthusiasm and we ran a great race. Would’ve been nice to have another $5 million to match her dollar for dollar but we didn't and we did the best we could with the resources we have.”
Koster and Del Bene are also vying to serve out the remaining month of Jay Inslee’s term. The former congressman resigned to run for governor.
Copyright 2012 Northwest Public Radio