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Despite ruling, political parties continue fight against top-two primary

Washington's major political parties are indicating they'll press on with their battle to overturn the state's top-two primary. This despite yet another court ruling Tuesday upholding the voter-approved primary system.

A federal district judge in Seattle ruled voters are not confused when they see the words "prefers Republican party" or "prefers Democratic party" next to a candidate’s name on the ballot. 

Democratic Party Chair Dwight Pelz disagrees and brings up another issue.

We think that the trademark of the Democratic and Republican party has been impaired by the top-two primary.

Pelz says the parties believe they can get a favorable ruling out of the Supreme Court, "if we go that far."

In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the top-two system. But that was before it was in use. Pelz says the court might take the case again if the parties can now demonstrate damage. But first the case would go to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

In the top-two primary, voters are not limited to a party ballot. The two candidates with the most votes advance to the general election even if they’re from the same party.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy as well as the Washington State legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia." Prior to joining the Northwest News Network, Austin worked as a television reporter in Seattle, Portland and Boise. Austin is a graduate of Garfield High School in Seattle and Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut. Austin’s reporting has been recognized with awards from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated and the Society of Professional Journalists.