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8 States Hold Primaries for Governors, Congress

September 15, 2004|From Associated Press

Washington state Atty. Gen. Christine Gregoire was winning the Democratic nomination for governor Tuesday in one of the hardest-fought contests as eight states went to the polls on the last big day of primaries before November.

Gregoire -- the state's first female attorney general and a leading player in the $206-billion tobacco settlement of the 1990s -- was getting three of every four votes in her contest with King County Executive Ron Sims.

In the nation's capital, former Mayor Marion Barry -- infamous for being caught on an FBI video smoking crack cocaine while in office -- won the Democratic nomination to a City Council seat in his second comeback since his drug conviction. In the strongly Democratic city, a fall victory is virtually guaranteed.

The full slate of primaries also saw a handful of contested House and Senate seats. Other states voting were Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin.

In Washington and Wisconsin, two states considered battlegrounds in the presidential race, Republicans who will challenge Democratic senators in the fall made the war on terror and their support for President Bush central to their campaigns.

With the GOP's 51-48-1 control of the Senate at stake, races in both states are receiving national attention and money.

In Washington, five-term Rep. George R. Nethercutt Jr. swept past five other Republicans to challenge Sen. Patty Murray, who easily won the Democratic nomination for a third term.

In Wisconsin, former Army Ranger Tim Michels won the GOP nomination to challenge two-term Democratic Sen. Russell D. Feingold.

In New England, five-term Democratic Sen. Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont easily won his nomination, as did two-term GOP Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire. So did two first-term GOP governors -- Vermont's Jim Douglas and New Hampshire's Craig Benson.

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