Congressional race in southwest Washington draws spotlight

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — Democrats see new opportunity in a southwest Washington congressional district as the party looks to make gains in a section of the blue state that has been out of reach to them for years.

Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler was first elected to the 3rd Congressional District in 2010. She won her last two elections with more than 60 percent of the vote.

But a strong primary showing by Democrat Carolyn Long, a political science professor at Washington State University-Vancouver, has made the once-safe Republican district one of three GOP-held areas in play in the Evergreen State.

Washington state has 10 congressional districts, the most recent one being added after the 2010 census. Washington’s congressional delegation currently has six Democrats and four Republicans.