Generally the mid-term elections are a ho-hum affair, and even more so the primaries before the midterms. But this year due to a divisive and destructive president, the Dems are coming out in force to let their voices be heard. Our voter turn-out for the primary in Pacific County was a relatively impressive 56 percent. Not only that but there are two U.S. House Representative seats in Washington state that could well be flipped to deserving Democratic candidates. Lots of folks are jazzed about this primary season. Key races all over the nation are being scrutinized and a record number of women have entered the fray.
In Congressional District 5, Spokane and Eastern Washington, Cathy Morris Rodgers — a 14-year incumbent — received 99,144 votes for 49.28 percentage of the votes; and Democratic challenger Lisa Brown 91,322 for 45.39 percent of the vote. Brown noted, “What this vote means to me is that the incumbent has had her time, and after 14 years, that time is up!”
Brown, once a chancellor at Washington State University, has a heap of experience in Washington state government, in both the house and senate. She became the first Democratic woman in the state to hold the position of state majority leader, and her BA and PhD degrees in economics have served her well. (Her list of awards and accolades are long: lisabrownforcongress.com/about)
But there’s another race closer to home that has many of us excited — that’s the Congressional house race to beat Jaime Herrera Beutler in our own District 3. I wrote earlier in the year about Jaime’s dismal record, and it’s only gotten worse since then. (Check out how the bipartisan organization VoteSmart rates candidates on a variety of issues: tinyurl.com/yb82we4g)
If you want someone who continues to deconstruct and damage our healthcare system, who wants more guns in the schools, and doesn’t dare to criticize the president on his policies — like family separation — than she’s your man. She’s also been taking our area for granted since she was elected. Jaime hasn’t shown her face in town for years and her “town hall” phone calls are — as many of our citizens have discovered — prearranged to weed out anyone who wants to ask a real question.
You have a better choice this time around! Carolyn Long has rural roots (she helped in her family’s produce stand growing up), impressive expertise in legislative governance, and is a fiscal moderate. “Being the child of small business owners, I learned the importance of pinching a penny,” she says. She’s articulate, falls right on all the issues, and is hot on Jaime’s heels.
Town Hall, Aug. 25
You can look at Carolyn’s accomplishments and exemplary platform online here — www.electlong.com/issues — and if you want to meet her, you won’t have far to go. Unlike the ever-elusive Jaime, Carolyn is coming to town again this Saturday, August 25th for a town hall in Ilwaco in the community room adjacent to the Timberland Library, 151 1st Ave., from 3 to 4 p.m.
And, by the way, this is Carolyn’s fourth town hall in Pacific County. She has also visited Goose Point Oysters twice and attended a house meeting fund raiser in Ocean Park, as well as bringing her family to the Peninsula razor clam fest earlier in the year.
When I queried Carolyn last week about how, if she’s elected, she intends to communicate with us in our far-flung corner of the world, she said, “I want to look people in the eye. I’ll be committed to your area in the same way I’m running for office. I want a flow of communication, and for that you need to be consistently present and accountable. I’ve been meeting as many people as I can — I’ve been present for 33 town halls in eight months of campaigning. I’ve pledged to get to every incorporated city in our district.”
She continues, “I’ve found that even a 90-minute town hall is not enough time. I speak for about five minutes and then I listen. It’s important to have live town halls. Communications is a two-way street.”
Here are Carolyn’s top issues for Pacific County. “From what I hear in town halls, the most important issue is healthcare and affordable access to healthcare. And there’s the high cost of prescription drugs. Then I hear a lot about infrastructure — the need to invest in roads and bridges. But it’s not only that. Rural areas need better high-speed broadband.”
“Family-wage jobs are critical. People are struggling in rural areas. So creating jobs is a number one priority. I also hear about protecting Medicare and social security. And people want a check on the president.”
I couldn’t agree more with all of these but especially the last. I’ve been appalled at the GOP’s silence about the president’s name-calling meanness and his obvious lies. (But when you’ve got a lawyer who says, “Truth isn’t truth” what can you expect?)
After the votes in the primaries were posted, the results of Carolyn’s “People over Politics” campaign were evident. She’s done better than any other challenger since Brian Baird retired in 2011. Although Jaime won with 66,685 votes for 42 percent of the vote; Carolyn earned 57,570 for 35 percent. (With other Democratic challengers earning as follows — David McDevitt, 13,066, for 8 percent; and Dorothy Gasque, 7,925 for 4.86 percent — you can see it’s going to be a rollicking finish!)
Carolyn’s great finish in the primaries has caught the attention of several national leaders. She’s earned the support of Emily’s List — an American political action committee founded in 1985 to help Democratic women candidates get elected (info here https://www.emilyslist.org/donate — both Lisa Brown and Carolyn Long are Emily’s List candidates). And she received a congratulatory phone call from Elizabeth Warren.
“The day after the primary, Elizabeth called to wish me all the best and to congratulate me,” says Carolyn. “She’s a law professor too, as I was, so it meant a lot to me and was a big surprise.” I guess from the East Coast, the Washington races have looked like sleepers, but there’s nothing sleepy about the campaign Carolyn’s running.
My final question to her was about the president calling the media “the enemy of the people.” I noted with pride that the Chinook Observer participated in a rebuttal of this — as did over 400 newspapers nation-wide — responding with an editorial about freedom of the press.
“It is a travesty,” Carolyn said, “how much Trump is undermining our political institutions and the freedom of the press out of pure self-interest. The press is doing its job and is protected by the First Amendment in our Constitution. There is some incredible reporting that has gone on in this last 18 months.” Now that is the truth!
Over 1,000 people have volunteered to help Carolyn get elected. And you can still help too: get people registered to vote, donate to her campaign, put up a yard sign, and talk to your neighbors about a candidate with heart, with strong humane policies, and the courage to speak truth to power. (Contact the campaign if you’d like to [hidden email]). But whoever your preferred candidate is, be sure to vote in November!