A Democratic flip of a Washington Congressional district is helping the slim hopes the party has to hold onto the U.S. House in last week's election. 

Auto shop owner Marie Gluesenkamp Perez was a virtual unknown in the August primary election. She's pulled off an upset that's been making national headlines after winning a congressional seat in Southwest Washington that was thought to be safely under Republican control. 

Gluesenkamp Perez, a Democrat, was declared the winner Saturday by the Seattle Times, The Associated Press, NBC News, CNN and The New York Times after a ballet update left her with a roughly 4,600 vote lead about 15,000 left to count.  

She leads Donald Trump-endorsed Republican Joe Kent, a retired Green Beret and a CIA paramilitary officer, in Washington’s 3rd Congressional District by a 50.5%-49% margin. 

Gluesenkamp Perez had led since election night, while Kent has narrowed the gap in later counts. 

The 3rd District has been occupied by a Republican for the past 10 years. Gluesenkamp Perez’s victory means eight of the 10 Washington Congressional districts will be held by Democrats, with only 4th District Republican Dan Newhouse and 5th District Republican Cathy McMorris Rodgers having won reelection. Those two districts represent most of eastern Washington.  

The state's two U.S. Senate seat are also under Democratic control after Incumbent Patty Murray defeated Republican Tiffany Smiley by a 57%-43% margin. Republicans had targeted Murray in hopes of flipping the seat early on, but later pulled financing to concentrate on defending several Republican Senate seats that became competitive. 

Democrats still have an outside chance of hanging onto their House majority, with numerous races still being too close to call. However, Republicans remain favored to gain the edge to flip House control. 

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