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DelBene Wins Race For U.S. House

Suzan DelBene talking to supporters at the Woodmark Hotel in Kirkland.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

Democrat Suzan DelBene beat Republican John Koster in the congressional race for the newly drawn 1st District. Election returns show DelBene ahead in three of the four counties.  

After the August primary, polls showed Suzan DelBene trailing John Koster. But last night, DelBene was sounding like a winner. She says that talking directly with voters was what turned things around. She says her family’s early struggles resonated with people.  

 “My family went through a lot of hard times when I was growing up and a lot of families are struggling today,” she said. “Knowing that even despite our struggles, we have to make sure we get people access to opportunity and there’s a bright future ahead, and that’s important, and that we can work together to get there.”

DelBene is a former Microsoft executive. This is her second try for Congress. In 2010 she lost to Dave Reichert in the race for the 8th District. She poured nearly $3 million of her own money into this race.

Republican John Koster is a Snohomish County Council member and former state legislator. This is his third bid for Congress. Koster says he’s hopeful the election results will improve for him as more ballots are counted over the next few days.

 “We ran a great grassroots campaign and people worked really hard and there was a lot of enthusiasm and we ran a great race,” said Koster. “[It] would’ve been nice to have another $5 million to match her dollar for dollar, but we didn’t, and we did the best we could with the resources we have.”

Koster and DelBene are also vying to serve out the remaining month of Jay Inslee’s term. The former congressman resigned to run for governor.

Year started with KUOW: 1994