Rep. Dave Reichert (R-Auburn) retiring from this marginal district makes the seat highly competitive next year. Over the weekend, state Senator Dino Rossi (R-Kirkland), a former gubernatorial and US Senate candidate announced he would seek the open congressional seat, giving Republicans their top recruitment prospect. Mr. Rossi first came to national notoriety in 2004, when he forced then-Attorney General Christie Gregoire (D) into a major re-count, consuming weeks, and ending in him losing the statewide contest by just 129 votes statewide. He returned to challenge then-Gov. Gregoire in 2008, resulting in a 53-47% loss. In a subsequent contest with Sen. Patty Murray (D), Mr. Rossi fell, but by a very respectable 52-48% against the veteran incumbent. In each case, the new Republican congressional candidate carried the 8th District.
Eight Democrats had previously announced for the seat, but only one had ever won an election, and that to a small local office. We can expect several elected Democratic officials to soon come forward to enter this race. King County Councilman Reagan Dunn (R), son of the late US Rep. Jennifer Dunn (R), was also considering running for the House seat but said he would yield to Mr. Rossi. Republicans uniting behind Rossi, which appears to be happening, will aid their ability to retain the open seat.
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