Reichert and Ventrella
Reichert and Ventrella

As of last night, Tony Ventrella, a Democratic candidate for the 8th Congressional District, won 17.5% of statewide votes. If the former TV news reporter remains in second place as ballots are counted, he will earn a spot on the November ballot.

The problem with this? Ventrella dropped out of the race in early July, which was too late for his name to be taken off the primary ballot. Now his "zombie candidacy" is jeopardizing the 8th District's chances of electing a Democrat to represent them in Congress, writes Jim Brunner for The Seattle Times.

Taking out Reichert was always a longshot for Democrats. The former King County sheriff is in his sixth term and was re-elected in 2012 with 63 percent of the vote.

The 8th District was more competitive before a round of redistricting a few years ago, which redrew it as more GOP friendly territory. The district now stretches from the eastern parts of King and Pierce counties to Chelan and Kittitas counties.

Ventrella, who, again, is not running, is still beating out Santiago Ramos, an actual viable Democratic candidate. In a letter, Ventrella wrote that he would serve, if elected, Brunner noted.

The Stranger Election Control Board mistakenly endorsed Ventrella over Ramos for the primary election in a group-wide brainfart. Members are still kicking themselves for this.