Heck advances in lieutenant governor primary, Liias trails

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Liias (left), Heck (right)

U.S. Rep Denny Heck has advanced to the November ballot in his bid to become Washington’s next lieutenant governor.

Heck, who was leading in preliminary returns in the ‘top two primary Tuesday, announced his entry into the race in April following the surprise announcement by incumbent Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib that he would not seek re-election and would instead become a Jesuit priest.

Democratic Sen. Marko Liias was finishing second in the initial vote count in the lieutenant governor’s primary.

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The lieutenant governor is officially responsible for presiding over the Senate while the Legislature is in session and filling in when the governor travels out of state.

The Democrat Heck was elected to the newly formed 10th Congressional District, which includes Olympia, in 2012. He announced his retirement from Congress in December.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.