Washington Democrats chose state Sen. Jim McDermont over incumbent gov. Dixy lee Ray by a 3-to-1 margin in the state primary Tuesday, marking the first time since 1908 that a first-term governor was denied renomination by his or her party. The key issues were Governor Ray's often abrasive personality, generally conservative filt, and strong support of nuclear power. The state's breakneck rate of growth also alienated the party's liberal wing. In November, Mr. McDermott will face John Spellman, a Republican who lost to Governor Ray in 1976 .
In Oklahoma, both parties had runoffs for the US Senate seat of Henry Bellmon (R), who is retiring this year. On the Democratic side, former Oklahoma County Prosecutor Andy Coats outpolled Robert S. Kerr Jr., son of the lare senator and oil magnate. The Republicans chose state Sen. Don Nickles -- promoted by the "Moral Majority" fundamentalist Christian group -- over an industrialist, John Zink, 66 to 34 percent.