With early numbers in, longtime U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell appears poised to advance to the November general election.

With 28 opponents, Cantwell, a Democrat, leads statewide with about 55 percent of the vote.

She has held the seat since 2001.

Her closest challenger is first-time candidate Susan Hutchison, a Republican, who has about 23 percent of the vote statewide.

Skagit County numbers are similar: 8,878 voters — about 55 percent — voted for Cantwell, with about half as many voting for Hutchison.

An updated ballot count is expected later this week, according to the county Elections Department.

Results will be certified Aug. 24.

The two candidates with the most votes will advance to the general election Nov. 6.

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