US Sen. Maria Cantwell faces former head of Wash. state GOP

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington’s U.S. Senate race pits a three-term Democratic incumbent against the former head of the state GOP.

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, the state’s junior senator, is seeking her fourth six-year term. She easily advanced through August’s top two primary, capturing more than 54 percent of the vote on a ballot with 28 challengers. Republican Susan Hutchison, a former local TV news anchor who most recently was the state party’s chairwoman, secured her spot on the November ballot with 24 percent of the vote.

Cantwell was first elected in 2000, beating Republican incumbent Sen. Slade Gorton by just 2,229 votes. Her win margin increased significantly in her next two elections, and she garnered more than 60 percent of the vote in her 2012 re-election bid.