Washington's August primary appears to have delivered an historic first. Two Republicans are likely to advance to the November election in central Washington's Fourth Congressional District.
Never before has the state's top-two primary produced two contenders of the same party for a Congressional seat.
Tuesday was the last day for Washington voters to mail in their ballots. And while this vote may not contain high-profile battles to draw big returns, it will set the stage for some crucial contests for local and state governance come November.
Initial results for the races Tuesday night showed it may be a difficult November for Democrats.
As Austin Jenkins reported - "Democrats may face an uphill battle in their bid to win back the Washington state Senate. Early primary election returns Tuesday night showed Republicans polling well in several key districts."
In southwest Washington, U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, held an early lead as she runs for her third term in the 3rd Congressional District.
She faced challengers from both sides of the aisle, with conservative Republican Michael Delavar of Washougal and Democrat Bob Dingethal of Ridgefield challenging her seat.
Initial returns for the District 3 race show Herrera Beutler with about 47 percent of the vote, followed by Dingethal with 41 percent and Delavar at 12 percent.
The seat of longtime Clark County Sheriff Gary Lucas is also up for grabs. The Columbian newspaper reports there are four candidates vying to replace him: Shane Gardner, Chuck Atkins, John Graser and Ed Owens. All four men have served in law enforcement, but only Gardner is a current employee with the Sheriff's Office.
Early returns in that race give Atkins the lead at 41 percent of the vote. Gardner also grabbed a lot of the initial votes, coming in just under 32 percent. Meanwhile, Owens and Graser each had about 13 percent of the vote.
The Columbian also reports that Clark County "voters approved emergency services levies to support programs in Yacolt and North Country Emergency Services response area."
County elections officials say they've received about 22 percent of ballots from registered voters. But that doesn't include ballots from some 30 drop-off sites around the county, as well as the ones that still haven't arrived in the mail. Clark County elections officials say they'll have most of the ballots counted by 4 p.m. Wednesday.
For the full results from Clark County, visit the County Clerk's Office online.
At the state government level, reporter Austin Jenkins says there are a few other races he'll be watching closely.
If there's a mirror-image contest to [the Hastings race], 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.
For the full results from all of the races in Washington state, visit the Secretary of State's website.
This story originally appeared on Oregon Public Broadcasting.