Reichert wins third term, defeats Burner

A close rematch between the former county sheriff and a Microsoft manager looking to represent Islanders in Congress ended Friday night after days of increasing Republican support.

Current Republican Congressman Dave Reichert received an 8,000-vote lead in a count late Friday, and his Democratic challenger, Darcy Burner, conceded.

Results posted on Monday had Reichert ahead by 14,087 votes, or 4.5 percent. In earlier counts, the difference was less than one percentage point.

“I look forward to going back to Congress to work in a bipartisan fashion, in cooperation with my colleagues and the new administration, on the many issues facing this district, the state of Washington and the rest of our country,” Reichert said during a press conference on Saturday.

In 2006, Reichert narrowly won by 3 percent. Burner took the lead out of the gates on Tuesday night, but the tally immediately shifted toward the two-term Congressman the following day. Just as he had two years ago, Reichert received a strong showing of support from Pierce County voters.

The 8th Congressional District includes Mercer Island and parts of both King and Pierce Counties. About 80 percent of the district is in King County. Reichert has kept his local offices in the Island’s Town Center.

Reichert’s victory bucked the national trend in which many Democrats unseated Republican incumbents. He will continue to be the last remaining Republican in Congress from Western Washington as one of three from the state. Two Republicans represent the 4th and 5th Districts in Eastern Washington.

“Despite millions of dollars thrown at him from the extreme netroots community, an opponent who distorted his record of bipartisanship and effectiveness in Congress, and a ‘blue’ wave that swept the nation — rivaling even that of 2006 — Dave withstood it all and emerged the winner,” said Reichert’s spokeswoman Amanda Halligan.

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