Democrat Denny Heck has conceded the 3rd Congressional District race to Republican Jaime Herrera, who leads tonight by more than 10,000 votes. She'll replace six-term Democratic Rep. Brian Baird in the sprawling southwest Washington district.
Herrera said by phone she thinks the growing national debt was a big factor in the outcome and she didn't think the more than $4 million independent expenditures swayed the race.
She also said voters were repeating a message from 2006 and 2008 – that they want a Congress that will listen to the public.
Heck, a politician-turned-entrepreneur, had campaigned as the only capitalist in the race who had created jobs. It was his second electoral loss on a row, following a 1988 run for state schools chief.
He did not take reporters' calls but his campaign put out a statement that congratulated Herrera on a well-run campaign. Here’s the statement:
From Day One, Denny Heck used this campaign to have a conversation with voters in Southwest Washington about expanding economic opportunity for our families and small businesses.
Denny knew this was going to be a tough year, especially as Southwest Washington continues to suffer from the highest unemployment rate in Washington State.
Denny wants to let his supporters know he has no regrets whatsoever, was honored to be the Democratic nominee and thanks them for all their hard work and support.
The race drew more than $7 million in spending including the nearly $1.7 million raised and spent by Heck and another $1.2 million from Herrera.