Incumbent Democrat Kim Schrier has a dominant lead in the primary race for the 8th District Congressional seat, having drawn nearly half of all votes counted so far (48 percent).

And it's likely Matt Larkin (17 percent) will be her opponent in November's general election, after third place primary candidate Reagan Dunn(15 percent) dropped out of the race Thursday.

Jesse Jenson, who lost a close general election in 2020 to Schrier, moves into third place with Dunn's departure, but would need to pick up ground quickly as more votes are counted in Washington’s mail-in only election system.

The last update of vote totals for the race was released Thursday evening, with another one likely early next week. Washington uses an open primary where the top two voter getters move on to the general election, regardless of party.

Larkin ran unsuccessfully against Democratic Attorney General Bob Ferguson two years ago. He’s billed himself as the most conservative candidate who can win in the swing district and has raised about $970,000.

Before dropping out, Dunn was competitive in fundraising, having collected $833,000.He is one of the few Republicans in the King County Council, having served five terms dating back to 2005. He also served in the Justice Department under Republican President George W. Bush.

Jenson has raised close to $1.1 million in the current campaign. He lost to Schrier in the 2020 general election by a 52-48 percent margin, after garnering 20 percent of the primary vote.

Republicans will likely direct heavy donations from out of state to back Larkin in the general election, as the 8th District is one of the most competitive in the country.

Republicans likely have a good shot at taking back the House in November as the party holding the White House historically loses congressional seats in the midterm elections. The GOP could also benefit from Democratic President Joe Biden’s low poll numbers which have sunk into the 30s.

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