Adam Smith beats Democratic challenger in 9th Congressional District

The 9th Congressional District — spanning from Southeast Seattle and Bellevue down to Federal Way and Tacoma — is a reliably safe Democratic district that incumbent Congressman Adam Smith will likely keep.

Early results in the Aug. 7 primary election show Democrat Adam Smith leading in King County with 50.2 percent of the vote, followed by Republican challenger Doug Basler with 26.2 percent and Democratic challenger Sarah Smith with 23.5 percent.

Congressman Smith has held it for the past 21 years and has defeated Republican challengers by large margins. He’s received endorsements from local progressive leaders such as Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, and was an early supporter of the $15 minimum wage campaign in SeaTac, burnishing his liberal credentials.

This year, he faced a fiesty challenge from the left: Sarah Smith, a 30-year-old Democratic socialist and former volunteer for the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign who ran on a platform of universal healthcare, a federal jobs guarantee and slashing defense spending. Her candidacy embodies the current internal debate going on in the Democratic party about how far it should swing to the left.

Sarah Smith was also backed by the same organization that supported Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s successful bid to oust longtime Democratic Congressman Joe Crowley in New York. She has attempted to run a somewhat similar campaign by running to the incumbent’s left. She’s criticized Congressman Smith for accepting substantial donations from the defense industry, as well as voting for the Iraq war in 2001.

Congressman Smith has defended his record, citing his progressive stances on numerous issues, such as reforming the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. He’s also argued that he has more roots in the district and has criticized Smith for technically living outside of the district’s boundaries. Sarah Smith notes that her home is only several blocks from the district line.

Given that the only other contender in the race was Basler, a low-profile Republican candidate who has frequently ran against Congressman Smith and lost, it was expected that Sarah Smith would advance to the November general election. However, while there is certainly enthusiasm for her among left-leaning political groups and members of local Democratic party organizations, it remains to be seen if she can overcome Congressman Smith’s name recognition and track record in the district.

More in News

Countywide birthday party sparks hope for girls aging out of foster care

Celebrate 18! was held by nonprofit Eileen & Callie’s Place on Saturday.

King County Sheriff’s Office nears completion of fatal motorcycle crash investigation

18-year-old man died June 28 after collision with Kent Police SUV

King County taxpayer tool shows how much Aug. 6 ballot measures will cost

Puget Sound Fire, county parks levies impact Kent residents

VoteWA is a $9.5 million program that came online last May and is meant to unify all 39 county voting systems in the state into a single entity. Courtesy image
WA’s new voting system concerns county elections officials

VoteWA has run into some problems in recent months as the Aug. 6 primary election draws closer.

‘Feedback loops’ of methane, CO2 echo environmental problem beyond Washington

University of Washington among researchers of climate change’s effects in global temperatures.

Jacqueline and Patrick Myers. Family photo, GoFundMe.com
Kent couple seriously injured in hit-and-run while touring Spain

Family, friends establish a drive to cover medicals and bring them home

Puget Sound Fire call report

Type, number of incidents

Kent Mayor Ralph decides against police measure for November ballot

City Council cancels special workshop planned for July 15

Warning period begins for red-light cameras in Kent

Program is now a go after technical issues delayed start to system

Most Read