Election Heads Up: Friday Edition

For the first installment of this series we will look at my home state of Washington. But first I’d like to remind readers that the goal of Election Heads Up is to run editions for Monday thru Friday. I cannot do that alone so until I get more volunteers, I will be just running the Friday Edition. Hopefully, enough readers will like what I’m doing and others will want to come on board.

Nominally, one of the primary purposes (no pun intended) of the Election Heads Up is to try to recruit progressive candidates to run for office. However, it is too late for anyone to run in the 2010 cycle, so just to be clear, all calls for progressives to throw their hats in the ring are for the 2012 election cycle. Nonetheless, the upcoming elections will be covered.

Now, back to this edition.

Washington State

Washington state sends 9 Representatives to the House as well as Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray to the Senate. We’ll start this off with the House.

The filing deadline to run is June 11th, 2010. The filing fee is $1,740. The primary is Aug. 17th, 2010.

Heads Up

The following progressives need YOU:

Cheryl Crist is running for the 3rd CD.

Tom Cramer is running for the 8th CD.

Districts with progressive challengers:

3rd CD:

Incumbent: Brian Baird is retiring in 2010 and not a day too soon. This guy realizes that being a complete sellout is not conducive to a long political career.

Challengers: Cheryl Crist (D). Now THIS is Our Girl! She’s for single payer, bringing our boys back home, unions, and alternative energy. She’s an ex-teacher and peace activist.

VOTE FOR CHERYL CRIST! You can donate to her campaign here.

Deb Wallace (D) Military supporter. Believes government must live within its means the same way a family does. Centrist Washington blogs like Horse’s Ass support Wallace. Centrist Dkos alumni like N in Seattle support Wallace.

Need I say more?

History: This district is definitely a swing district. It barely carried Bush in 2000 and 2004 and barely carried Obama in 2008.

However, it used to be a strong Democratic district until 1994 and the health reform debacle. It returned to Dem hands in 1999. Unless a legitimate progressive candidate wins the primary, expect Democratic turnout to be low for the conservadem Wallace.

We NEED to win this primary folks.

7th CD:

Incumbent: Jim McDermott. Jim signed the pledge to stand behind a strong public option. He’s the only Washington Representative to do so. Assuming he stands by his pledge, I am linking to his donation site here. I have no doubt that he will stand by his pledge. Healthcare is the first issue he has listed. His website even sports a Healthcare blog. He supports universal healthcare.

We don’t need a challenger for Jim McDermott. We need to keep Jim in office.

Primary Challenger: Bill Hoffman. It’s too bad Bill is running against Jim McDermott. He’s certainly got the Right Stuff. He’s for single payer. He’s for solar power. He’s for reducing military spending. He’s against our free trade agreements – and has great arguments as to why Jim McDermott isn’t. He’s for gay rights. Really, he’s the ideal progressive candidate. I just wish he weren’t running against Jim McDermott. You can donate to Bill’s campaign here.

District history: THE Democratic stronghold of Washington state. Gore got 72%, Kerry 79% and Obama a whopping 84%.

8th CD:

Incumbent: Jim Reichert. This is the guy who failed to catch the Green River killer even though he already knew who he was. Failure never stopped a Republican however.

Challengers: Tom Cramer (D). A progressive that supports universal healthcare, gay rights and alternative energy. Donate here

Suzan DelBene (D) A democrat that is for the public option. Supports gay rights and clean energy. Gotta tell you, while she looks polished, she sounds kinda vague. She’s been an anti-poverty activist.

Joshua Goodin (I) Can’t even get a website up at this late date. ‘nuff said.

Folks, Reichert has got to go. And if he’s going to go, let’s get a progressive to replace him. Donate and/or vote for Tom Cramer.

District history: This district has NEVER elected a Dem to Congress. However, the times they are a changin’ and the huge Mormon population finds it is being outnumbered by liberals. The district went blue for Gore, Kerry and Obama. If ever a district was ripe for the taking, it’s Washington’s 8th district. Let’s make it a progressive victory. Elect Tom Cramer.

Districts that need a progressive challenger in 2012:

6th CD:

Incumbent: Norm Dicks (D) Another Washington state Dem who didn’t make the pledge to stand by the public option. This guy’s held this seat since 1977. Dicks gave the telecomms immunity. He voted for the invasion of Iraq. He gets most of his money from the defense industry. He never saw a free trade agreement he didn’t like. On a positive note, he did vote against reauthorizing the Patriot Act, he’s always supported gay rights and he‘s been a strong conservationist.

No primary challengers.

People, we need a progressive to step forward and challenge this Conservadem in 2012. If you live in the Tacoma area, please consider throwing your hat in the ring. If you know someone who would make a good candidate, let us know. The time is NOW to find a progressive to challenge for this seat.

History: This district is a Democratic stronghold. Gore, Kerry and Obama won easily here.

9th CD:

Incumbent: Adam Smith. This guy belongs to the centrist New Democrat Coalition. We really need a progressive to challenge this guys seat.

History: This district was recently formed to be a “fair fight” district, but since Smith took over in 1996, it’s been a strong Democratic district going for Gore, Kerry and Obama.

This is a district just crying out for a progressive candidate!

Districts with Democratic challengers to Republican incumbents

4th CD:

Incumbent: Doc Hastings ( R). What’s there to say?

Challengers: Jay Clough. This guy actually doesn’t sound that bad. Yeah, his version of HCR sounds suspiciously a lot like Obama’s. But he’s against low wages, is pro-environment and is for small businesses. What I really like, though, is that he’s for solar energy. He wants to break the nations dependence on oil.

You can donate to his campaign here.

District history: This district is a Republican stronghold. However, Jay Inslee did win here in 1993. Then Hastings knocked him out in 1995. It went heavily Bush and even McCain won with 58%. If Jay Clough took this district, it would be a huge upset.

Districts with no current challengers:

1st CD:

Incumbent: Jay Inslee (D). This is my Representative. He’s generally a dependable Democrat but he wouldn’t sign onto the pledge to stand by a public option. Because of that, I’m on the fence with him.

District history: This district was solidly Republican from 1953 until 1993 when Maria Cantwell won the seat. A Republican quickly retook it two years later, but after four years, he lost it to Jay Inslee, who’s held it ever since.

The district has been turning more and more blue, showing 53% for Gore, followed by 56% Kerry and then 62% Obama.

2nd CD:

Incumbent: Rick Larsen (D). He used to be a lobbyist for the dental industry. Most of his campaign donations came from Boeing and Microsoft, mostly from unions. He’s a strong union supporter. He also supported the public option, sort of, but like Inslee, did not sign the pledge. He voted against invading Iraq, but since then has voted yes on every bill put forth on Iraq and Afghanistan. He voted NOT to reauthorize the Patriot Act. Supports gay issues.

History of the district: This district was historically Democratic until disillusion over Democratic failure to enact health reform led to Republicans taking over in 1994. In 2001, the district returned to Democratic control. However, Gore and Kerry barely carried the district with 48% and 51% respectively. Obama carried nearly 63%.

5th CD:

Incumbent: Cathy McMorris Rodgers ( R).

No challengers.

History: This is a slightly less Republican stronghold than the 4th district, McCain only took 52% of the vote.


Patty Murray (D) is up for re-election in 2010. In Oct. 2002 she gained the eternal hatred of Right Wingnutistan when she wrote the following to Usurper Bush:

Mr. President, if we do take action in Iraq, there is no doubt that our armed forces will prevail. We will win a war with

Iraq decisively, and, God willing, we will win it quickly. But what happens after the war? That will have as big an impact on our future peace and security. Will we be obligated to rebuild Iraq? If so, how? Our economy is reeling, our budget is in deficit, and we have no estimate of the cost of rebuilding. And with whom? As New York Times columnist Tom Friedman points out, there’s a retail store mentality that suggests to some — if "you break it, you buy it."

Murray voted to strike telecomm immunity from the FISA. She voted against expressing support for General Betrayus. She’s fought against Big Oil. On the other hand, she’s never met a free trade agreement she didn’t like. She voted to confirm Geithner to be Secretary of the Treasury. Voted yes to Bernanke’s nomination. She voted against funding ACORN.

Maria Cantwell will be up for re-election in 2012. She’s against the public option. She’s never seen a free trade agreement she didn’t like. She voted FOR the Patriot Act. She’s known in progressive circles as Cantsellusoutfastenough.

We could use a progressive candidate to challenge Cantwell. In 2006 Hong Thi Tran became the first Vietnamese-American to run for U.S. Senate as a progressive alternative to Maria Cantwell. She claimed that the Democratic Party leadership slammed the door in her face. They refused to give her access to the party’s voter database and refused to let her bring campaign signs into a Coordinated Campaign event at Whittier Elementary. Tran claimed that the party leadership was preventing the distribution of information about her campaign to Democratic voters and PCOs in an attempt to control the primary results.

If Tran runs again, we need to support her campaign. If she does not, we need to find a progressive who will challenge Cantwell, the Conservadem.

Well, that’s it for the first edition of Election Heads Up. Hope you found it informational and inspirational. Next Friday’s edition will be about Indiana. If you have a request for a specific state in the near future, let me know in the comments section.

If you’re interested in helping out with the Heads Up diaries to keep progressives informed on what’s coming and where we need to put our resources, please volunteer in the comments section below and I will contact you.

Until next week, if you want change, it has to start with you.

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