The primary is over and done with, and Jim McDermott (unsurprisingly) defeated his youngest challenger, Andrew Hughes. The margin wasn't even close—McDemott walked away with nearly 71% of the vote, and Hughes settled for third with just under 6%.
Sure, he came into the race with little or no name recognition, and was trying to kick out someone who has been in office since before I was born. Hughes attacked McDermott for being old and ineffective, but didn't capitalize on his criticisms. He ended up with 10,334 votes, and FEC reports show the Hughes campaign's total expenditures are $216,103, much of which was his own money.
All told, Hughes spent $19.95 on each vote.
McDermott spent more on his campaign, but walked away unscathed with over 12 times as many votes as Hughes. For many voters, McDermott is a default choice, and it would be ignorant to discount that. When you break down the $387,784 spent by the McDermott campaign and the 124,653 votes he received, the total comes to a much more efficient $3.11 per vote.
It's a bummer that Hughes threw so much (of his own) money into his failed campaign, but hey—it's a free country.