SEATTLE -- Political newcomer Dr. Kim Schrier leads Republican Dino Rossi as Democrats appear to be flipping the 8th District blue. As of the first wave of election results Tuesday, Schrier had 53% of the vote to Rossi's 47%.
More than $25 million has poured into Washington state's 8th Congressional District race, making it one of the most expensive U.S. House contests in the country.
The 8th Congressional District was one of two dozen districts nationwide held by the GOP but whose voters chose Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election. It's a critical potential pickup for Democrats trying to take the U.S. House of Representatives for the first time since 2010.
Democrats were trying to flip the only congressional district that substantially blends Washington's wide-ranging political spectrum, from the ultraliberal eastern Seattle suburbs to solidly conservative rural Cascade Mountains.
Schrier as a first-time candidate is riding on the so-called "Blue Wave" and "Year of the Woman" momentum in hoping to flip the district. The district has never sent a Democrat to Congress since it was created three decades ago but has seen major demographic changes thanks to the Seattle tech-boom's eastward sprawl.
Rossi is a real estate investor and longtime state lawmaker with wide name recognition, and is perhaps best known for losing the country's closest race for governor in 2004. He's carried the district in three statewide races but hasn't won a general election in 18 years.