Dunn concedes in primary bout for Washington’s 8th Congressional District

Republican Matt Larkin will take on Democratic Rep. Kim Schrier in fall.

Updated: August 4, 2022 - 11:44pm

With thousands of votes still left to be counted, King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn conceded to his fellow Republican Matt Larkin in the primary fight to take on Democratic Rep. Kim Schrier in Washington’s 8th Congressional District Thursday afternoon.

“I just called Matt Larkin to congratulate him on his primary victory,” Dunn said in a statement on his website. “Matt ran an honorable and positive campaign, and I am proud to endorse him in this November's election. Matt will make a wonderful Congressman and I encourage all of my supporters to support him as well.”

In the current count, Larkin overall had 17.07% of the vote to Dunn’s 14.62% of the vote, according to the Washington State Secretary of State’s Office. It was a lead that likely could not have been overcome through additional counting, even if the results broke heavily for Dunn.

Schrier is currently weighing in with 47.67% of the vote, which may signal some vulnerability. Political handicappers say as a rule of thumb that if a candidate can get at least 50% of the vote in a primary, that candidate can usually win the general election. The current combined vote total of all the Republican candidates in the primary is 48.42% of the vote.

Washington Democrats – including Schrier who in one press release described herself as “the only pro-choice woman doctor in Congress” – are trying to push the abortion issue as hard as they can, with the recent Supreme Court ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade as leverage.

Washington state Republicans are countering that abortion is not an issue in Washington state, where both voters and the Legislature have enacted various protections for abortion rights. The Washington GOP collectively says the real issue is an underperforming economy care of Democrats in the White House, Congress, the state House, and the Governor’s Mansion.

Larkin identifies as pro-life, but the focus of his campaign for the primary that he is likely to carry on into the general election on Nov. 8 has been on inflation, crime, and taxes.