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March 16, 2006

Democrats Running in Every Washington Congressional Race

Great news! We just got word that Peter Goldmark will be running against Cathy McMorris in the 5th CD which encompasses a large swath of eastern Washington from the Okanogan in the north through Spokane and Pulllman to Walla Walla in the south.  Josh Feit broke the news at the Slog. That means we have good candidates running against Tom DeLay's pal, Dave Reichert, in the 8th, the ethically-challenged Doc Hastings in the 4th, and now Bush-follower Cathy McMorris in the 5th.

Peter Goldmark, a rancher from the Okanogan, considered running against McMorris late last fall and then decided against it.  If he's running now, it probably means that the Democrats are feeling pretty confident about the possibility of a "wave" year, one of those years when everything changes. As Jay Inslee says in an article I reference below on Darcy Burner, "Once a tide like that begins to run," he says, "it doesn't matter what kind of swimmer you are, you can be swept out." He should know.  He was swept out in 1994, the last "wave" political year, when it was the Republicans riding the wave. 

To learn more about Goldmark, I checked Wikipedia and found that in addition to being the owner of a 7,000-acre farm, Goldmark is the founder and chief scientist of a biotech company as well and has published papers on plant molecular genetics.  Pretty amazing guy. This race will be very interesting. 

Most of us know more about Darcy Burner and she has gotten a lot of well-deserved support from the bloggers.  Eli Sanders has a great interview with her over at the Stranger and Goldy has a nice riff on that interview up today.  Darcy's candidacy has also received a lot of buzz from the party folks who've met her or heard her talk.  She presents well; she's funny and willing to take risks; and she has a compelling life story.  Here's what Sanders said about her affect on the 1,200 Democrats who attended the annual crab feed in Olympia in February, including keynote speaker Howard Dean:

Most of the people at the crab feed weren't residents of the district Burner wants to represent, but they cheered whenever she was mentioned. Their enthusiasm for a race they likely won't be voting in felt familiar: During the 2004 presidential election, many Washington Democrats, propelled by this same type of enthusiasm, flew on their own dime from safely blue Washington to volunteer in contested swing states like Ohio and Iowa. Their "Will Travel for a Win" attitude sprung from a recognition that national elections, be they for control of Congress or the presidency, turn on outcomes in relatively few locales. This year, however, Democrats in the deep blue cities of Western Washington don't have to go all the way to Iowa or Ohio. To be a part of halting the Bush agenda, they simply have to drive 15 minutes across Lake Washington.

Richard Wright is far and away the least well known of the three Democrats running to take seats from the Republicans.  But he is running against one of the most despised Republicans in Congress, Doc Hastings, theoretical chair of the House Ethics Committee, the committee that won't even bother meeting let alone dealing with the massive Republican corruption going on in the House as well as every other body in DC. Jim over at McCranium has a photo of a great billboard that some ethics-related group has put up outside Pasco that speaks volumns about Doc Hastings.

Wright, who appears to be very mild mannered and graduated from Brigham Young University, packs a wallop. McCranium has several posts on Wright up on his blog.  Here's a couple of examples of what Wright has said:

Businessman Richard Wright launched the Yakima leg of his campaign for the 4th Congressional District on Tuesday by calling the Medicare drug program a “rip-off” and assailing the integrity of his likely opponent, Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Pasco.


“This is going to be a campaign based on contrast,” Wright said at a sparsely attended news conference at the Red Lion Hotel Yakima Center. “We have a congressman who is a national joke that the people of the Fourth District do not deserve.”

Jim quotes the Yakima Herald quoting Dwight Pelz on Wright:

“He’s definitely a moderate Democrat with a message that appeals to Eastern Washington. He went to Brigham Young, he’s a family man, a businessman and president of a company with 60 employees in three states,” Pelz said, referring to Wright’s business, Columbia Physical Therapy.”

And from Jim again:

What does Richard Wright have going for him? Integrity, honesty and a true desire to serve a constituancy that is desperately in need of new leadership in congress. It might not be the front row seat to a steel cage match that we will see between Darcy Burner and Dave Reichart in the 8th CD, but it is a contest that has serious consequence for the nation, and the people of the Washington’s 4th Congressional District.

Although for many of us, the primary focus will remain on helping Darcy win, it's great to know that we will have three Congressional races that might all be viable in this year.

Posted by Lynn Allen on March 16, 2006 at 04:36 PM in Candidate Races | Permalink


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Thanks Lynn. I linked back on your story because... you did a good job!

Posted by: Jimmy | Mar 16, 2006 6:50:24 PM

Yup its going to be a democratic year. Dwight Pelz gets all the credit for this one. What did he say? Something like 'we will take this fight to every corner of the state. Work hard and organize!'

The Goldmark Family have deep roots in this state. Goldmarks father was a legislator and union organizer who was accused of being a communist by Mccarthy. Then his brother, an active and respected democrat was brutally murdered along with his family in the 80's I think, by a nut case who said god told him to kill communists.

Posted by: Particle Man | Mar 17, 2006 2:56:58 PM

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