Newhouse is one of the 10 Republican House members who voted for then-President Donald Trump’s impeachment in January 2021 following the attack on the US Capitol. Trump had endorsed Republican challenger Loren Culp in the district.
Washington holds open primaries in which all candidates, regardless of party, appear on the same ballot, with the top two finishers advancing to the November general election.
Despite facing anger from his own party over his impeachment vote, Newhouse had a number of factors going his way this week: The incumbent handily outspent his challengers, the field was large and fractured, and Washington state’s open primary system allowed people to vote for any candidate, regardless of affiliation.
Aside from White and Culp, the field also included former NASCAR driver Jerrod Sessler and state Rep. Brad Klippert.
Local Republican operatives, many of whom censured and criticized Newhouse after his impeachment vote, worried that many people had moved on from impeachment and caused Republicans to focus on other issues as they went to the polls on Tuesday. Newhouse also seized on his agriculture expertise, using it to appeal in the largely rural district and draw some of the focus away from impeachment.
This story has been updated with additional background information.