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DelBene Beats Back GOP Challenger In State's Only Battleground District

KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Democrat Suzan DelBene cruised to an easy victory in her first re-election bid in the state’s 1st Congressional District.

At last count, DelBene is leading Republican challenger Pedro Celis 55 to 44 percent.

DelBene, a former Microsoft executive, was regarded as the only potentially vulnerable member of Congress in the state this year. In 2011, the 1st District was re-drawn to be a swing district, evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats.

Celis was a former Microsoft engineer. He is a first-time candidate who barely squeezed through the primary and then struggled to get his campaign off the ground. Celis raised just $664,000 to DelBene’s $2.25 million, and his campaign had little exposure on radio or TV.

When DelBene took the stage after the first returns Tuesday night, she thanked her opponent for his courage in deciding to run and said the results reflect her focus on working across the aisle in Congress.

“And now the voters have spoken, they have spoken up for a focus on civility rather than partisanship, they’ve spoken up for cooperation and not divisive ideology, and they have spoken up to say they appreciate our commitment to getting results,” she said.

Celis said he called DelBene to congratulate her last night, but did not officially concede defeat.

Year started with KUOW: 2005