Democratic Rep. Katie Porter holds on to seat in tightly fought Orange County race Tuesday
EVERETT — Rep. Katie Porter’s narrow victory in a three-way race for an open congressional seat in the western coastal part of Washington County on Tuesday was a sign of just how tight a race the district had become in the days leading up to the vote.
The former state lawmaker from Washington also held a small lead over Republican Michael Grimm in the state’s 7th congressional district, despite a steady barrage of negative campaigning from Grimm in the weeks leading up to the primary election.
Porter, a Democrat who challenged incumbent Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers in 2018, held a 46.2 percent to 44.4 percent lead over Grimm after the vote, according to unofficial results provided by the county Elections Board. The margin is about the same size as her victory margin in the 2018 primary. That margin helped her earn her party’s nomination for the seat.
Grimm, a former Alaska attorney general who is running to unseat Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers in a red district, had been outspent by Porter and her Democratic challenger in the campaign, but the numbers had held up well through most of the primary election. Grimm spent about $1.5 million in ads on Porter’s behalf, according to the Washington Post.
But on Tuesday, Grimm got off to a very slow start and spent much of his advertising dollars on attacks against Porter. On a day when Grimm attempted to tie Porter to President Donald Trump during a rally, Grimm’s campaign released new campaign ads that attacked Porter’s votes supporting Trump’s tax cuts. Grimm also targeted her vote for the American Health Care Act, which he says would strip health insurance from millions of people.
Porter was on the ground in Washington County from the beginning to the end of the day, talking to voters and touring the district. She told voters that Grimm was a “vicious and toxic” candidate on the ballot, and said she was “not going to sit by quietly and accept more hate.”
Porter ran a campaign that touted her experience in business and public service, and said she can help “make Washington home and take on the Washington Machine.”
In the end, Porter, a former Republican who narrowly lost a bid to represent the district in 2010, became Washington’s second congressional representative from