Republican McMorris Rodgers reelected in Washington

Republican McMorris Rodgers reelected in Washington
© Greg Nash

Rep. Cathy McMorris RodgersCathy McMorris RodgersWe can accelerate a cure for Alzheimer's Overnight Energy: Wheeler vows to keep funds for Great Lakes cleanup | Inslee presses Trump on climate in House testimony | Dems seek more funds for Interior watchdog Inslee presses Trump on climate change in House testimony MORE, the highest ranking female member of GOP leadership, is projected to hang on to her seat in eastern Washington state, a huge sigh of relief for Republicans who are already worried about their dwindling number of women lawmakers.

McMorris Rodgers, who chairs the GOP conference and has served in Congress for 14 years, was facing her toughest reelection race yet as she battled a well-funded challenge from Democrat Lisa Brown. Brown is the chancellor of Washington State University Spokane and a former state lawmaker.

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Washington’s 5th district, a mix of rural and urban terrain, voted for President TrumpDonald John TrumpRussia's election interference is a problem for the GOP Pence to pitch trade deal during trip to Michigan: report Iran oil minister: US made 'bad mistake' in ending sanctions waivers MORE by 13 points in 2016. But there has been some dissatisfaction in the district with the president, forcing McMorris Rodgers to walk a political tightrope as she largely voted in lock step with the president while also trying to distance herself from some of his more controversial policies and remarks.

McMorris Rodgers got her start in politics working as a campaign manager and legislative aide for a member of the Washington House of Representatives, before she was eventually appointed to the seat.

After a decade in state politics, McMorris Rodgers was elected to serve in Congress, where she rose through the ranks to become the No. 4 Republican in the House.