A recount is taking place to determine who finished second in the Aug. 7 top-two election for the U.S. House second district race in Washington. As of Aug. 21, Brian Luke, the Libertarian Party candidate, is in second place out of the six candidates, 66 votes ahead of the third-place challenger, Gary Franco, an independent.
From the Everett Daily Herald on August 19 (“Still close, recount could decide Rep. Larsen’s November foe,” by Jerry Cornfield):
A recount is needed to determine who will oppose Democratic Congressman Rick Larsen in the general election.
Challengers Brian Luke and Gary Franco are separated by fewer than 100 votes in a duel for the runner-up spot. Only a handful of ballots are left to count in the 2nd Congressional District race, according to county election officials.
If the two remain this close, it will trigger a machine recount of the roughly 156,200 ballots cast in this race. A recount cannot begin until after results from the statewide primary are certified by Secretary of State Kim Wyman on Aug. 24.
“I’m excited at the possibility,” said Luke, 45. A grocery department manager, he ran against Larsen in 2016 but did not make it past the primary.
“This would give me a chance to address foreign policy and the national debt,” he said. “This also would be great exposure for the Libertarian Party. It would show people the Libertarian Party is out there and running candidates.”
Franco, 66, of Lopez Island, is the former owner and operator of Madrona Farms. He said he was “pleasantly surprised” to see the closely grouped vote totals for four of the five men opposing Larsen in the primary.
“It has been quite a horse race,” he said. “I’m chomping at the bit. I just want to be on stage with Rickie.”
Larsen is seeking a tenth term serving the district which encompasses all of Island and San Juan Counties, plus western Snohomish, Skagit and Whatcom counties.
Larsen has 101,290 votes, or 64.9 percent, following the latest tally of votes [on Aug. 17].
In the duel for second, Luke has 12,301 votes to Franco’s 12,235 votes. The 66-vote margin amounts to a difference of [0.27 percent], which would trigger a machine recount.
Democrat Collin Richard Carlson is currently fourth, followed by Republican Uncle Mover and Stonewall Jackson “Stoney” Bird, a Green.
As of Aug. 27, Ballotpedia is reporting that this election is still too close to call.
If Luke is determined to be the runner-up, he will join four other Libertarians who have advanced to Washington state’s Nov. 6 run-off ballot:
- Allen Acosta for state house, District 22B. Learn more at Facebook.com/ElectAllenAcostaLD22.
- Sydney Wissel for state house, District 36A. Learn more at Facebook.com/sydneyforcascadia.
- Matt Dubin for state house, District 36B. Learn more at ThereIsNoThem.us.
- Bryan Simonson, state senate, District 36. Learn more at Facebook.com/Bryan.Simonson.For.Liberty.
Learn more at Brian Luke’s campaign website: Luke4Congress.com
More than 825 other Libertarian candidates are running for office throughout the country. Learn more here: LP.org/2018-candidates