Saturday, September 05, 2015

Flipping A District In The Great Northwest: WA-08


This week we were delighted to hear that two truly awful Republican congressmen-- John Kline in Minnesota and Dave Reichert in Washington-- are stepping down. Kline made it final; he's going for sure, which must be a great relief to America's students (and their parents). Reichert, bored with Congress, is still mulling a run for his state's governor's mansion, which polling indicates he'll lose anyway.

Blue America hadn't made a decision to back a candidate in MN-02 yet, although Angie Craig looks like a good replacement for Kline. It's much easier for us in WA-08, where we already have a great, well-vetted candidate in Jason Ritchie.

Washington's 8th Congressional District is the only CD in Washington that is considered flippable. It is the only district in the state-- and one of only 17 nationwide-- that President Obama carried in 2012 but has a sitting Republican congressman, Reichert. If, as is likely, he does leave this seat open, it must be turned blue for Democrats to reclaim a majority in the House of Representatives in 2016. And not just blue, but progressive.

The DCCC hasn't recruited a conservative to run against Jason in a primary-- having looked and failed. But keep in mind, the Republicans aren't giving the district up without a fight. Reichert tried portraying himself as relatively "mainstream" or even "moderate." (He wasn't.) It's likely that whoever the GOP tries replacing him with won't even try. Privatizing Social Security and cutting back on Medicare are as high on the Republican agenda as rounding up millions of undocumented immigrants and shipping them to Mexico. That's a very different agenda from the one Jason is fighting for.

After Reichert's announcement last week that he's looking closely at the gubernatorial race, Jason told us that he's
seeking this seat in 2016, as I did in 2014, as a strong, progressive Democrat who believes that Social Security, Medicare and Disability are not entitlements; they are earned benefits. I will oppose any Republican efforts to degrade, defund, privatize or otherwise take away our earned benefits.
Across the board, Jason is a stalwart Blue America-backed candidate with values and principles that support working families and not wealthy special interests. 
I strongly support and believe in women's health care choices, and I will oppose any Republican effort to limit access to these health care choices, including any efforts to cut funding to essential access points such as Planned Parenthood.

I own and operate a small construction business building wheelchair ramps and installing grab bars for seniors and people with physical challenges. I know that middle class, living wage jobs are the lifeblood of our economy. I know that economic inequality and lack of opportunity are the largest threats to our democracy and our economy. I will fight to create strong, middle class, living wage jobs in our communities by investing into our infrastructure.

I need your support to fight those Republicans who think they can keep this seat red. I need your help to make the case to the voters of the 8th CD that this race is not only winnable, it is essential that we win this seat in 2016.
This is a seat Jason can win-- with our help. He's not a wealthy man, and the DCCC hasn't given him any help at all, although they haven't been sabotaging him this cycle either. I suspect that if he can raise some money this quarter, they may actually even get behind his campaign. If you can afford to, please consider making a contribution here. Washington deserves an upgrade after 12 years of Reichert! We all do.

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