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CAMPAIGN 2000

Incumbent, Millionaire Win Wash. Nods

September 20, 2000|From Associated Press

SEATTLE — GOP Rep. George Nethercutt beat back a primary challenge Tuesday after breaking the term-limit pledge that helped him unseat a 15-term House speaker, while an Internet millionaire won the Democratic Senate nomination.

With 19% of precincts in the open primary reporting, Nethercutt won with 14,553 votes, or 44%, to former radio talk-show host Richard Clear's 6,203 votes, or 19%.

With 18% of precincts reporting, Cantwell won with 176,119 votes, or 38%, to state Insurance Commissioner Deborah Senn's 54,889 votes, or 12%. Cantwell will face three-term GOP Rep. Slade Gorton, who got 194,344 votes, or 42%.

The pledge that helped Nethercutt knock off House speaker and Democratic Rep. Thomas S. Foley in 1994 came back to haunt him, with negative ads from Clear and U.S. Term Limits.

In Massachusetts, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy won the Democratic nomination without any opposition, while another term-limit pledge breaker--Democratic Rep. Martin T. Meehan--defeated two primary challengers.

And in an Oklahoma runoff, attorney Brad Carson won the Democratic nomination to face GOP car dealer Andy Ewing for an open House seat.

Washington's Senate race promises to break state records, as Cantwell spent more than $5 million of her own money and promised "whatever it takes" to take on Gorton, targeted as one of the Senate's few vulnerable Republicans.

Senn won endorsements from labor, party stalwarts and Ralph Nader, the Green Party nominee for president. But Cantwell, a former congresswoman who made $40 million from an Internet business, blanketed the state with TV ads.

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