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Race for WA Rep. Kilmer's congressional seat is heating up

caption: Rep. Derek Kilmer
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Rep. Derek Kilmer
United States Congress

The race to replace U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer in Washington's 6th Congressional District is taking shape, with three candidates interested in the seat.

Kilmer, a Democrat who has served six terms in the seat, will not seek re-election in 2024.

On Thursday, state Sen. Emily Randall (D-Bremerton) announced on X, formerly known as Twitter, that she was entering the race.

"My story is just like the stories of my neighbors," she said in a video announcement, highlighting her upbringing in Port Orchard by union parents. "And when I stepped up to run for state Senate, no one handed me the keys."

In fact, Randall has won two elections as a state legislator by fairly narrow margins.

Randall's campaign adds a second Democratic candidate in a congressional district that has steadily voted Democrat for Congress. Washington's Public Lands Commissioner Hillary Franz was first to announce she'd run for the seat, just a day after Kilmer said he would not run again; Franz also won the benefit of Kilmer's endorsement.

Republican state Sen. Drew MacEwan has also said he is forming an exploratory committee for a potential run to represent the 6th District. MacEwan currently represents the state's 35th Legislative District, which covers Mason County, and parts of Kitsap and Thurston counties.

The 6th District covers the Olympic and Kitsap peninsulas, as well as Tacoma.

Randall's announcement video featured endorsements from fellow lawmakers as well as Washington Secretary of State Steve Hobbs.

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