And so state Senator Don Benton has dropped out of the U.S. Senate race, clearing a bit more of the Republican side of the field. How many candidates will ultimately file next week?
Washington's top-two system will make for some compelling watching in the Senate contest, come primary day. If there's basically just one serious Democrat (incumbent Patty Murray) and one serious Republican (Dino Rossi) left in the field, then the primary results could make for a useful mirror of what's ahead in November.
Of course, while those two contenders are nearly certain to be the finalists for the fall, there's something else to watch if former football player Clint Didier stays in. Didier, who snagged an endorsement from Sarah Palin, is more a tea party kind of guy. If he stays in, what kind of vote does he get? And how should that be interpreted for the fall? There is this is consider: With Benton out, the Tea Party group has one clear candidate speaking something close to its dialect, and we may see just how much Didier is able to draw from that. if he stays in.