Ex-NFL player likely to advance in Washington primary

Former Washington Redskins tight end Clint Didier and former Washington Department of Agriculture Director Dan Newhouse, both Republicans, look likely to advance to the final round of voting for Washington’s 4th District.

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Late Tuesday night, Didier led a 12-person pack with 30 percent of the vote, while Newhouse took 27 percent, with 45 percent of precincts reporting. The rest of the candidates remain far behind, by more than 15 points.

The state has all-mail voting, so ballots are likely to continue to trickle in over the coming days. Under Washington’s all-party primary system, the top two vote-getters advance to a face-off in November.

If the two do end up advancing, they set up another Tea Party versus establishment battle this fall. Didier has received FreedomWorks’s endorsement, and has committed to opposing John Boehner (R-Ohio) for Speaker if elected.

Newhouse is seen as a more centrist Republican, and has more support from local business groups and establishment Republicans in the state. The seat, left open with Rep. Doc Hastings’s (R) retirement, is expected to easily stay in GOP hands this fall.