News and articles on Carolyn Long’s career and campaign.


Women candidates making 'herstory': They already have in this Washington

Seattle Post-Intelligencer - Local News | Link to original source
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Women candidates making 'herstory': They already have in this Washington

Women candidates, many of them seeking office for the first time, are making "herstory" across America with victories in early 2018 primaries.

Winners in Tuesday's Pennsylvania primary are likely to blast away the glass ceiling of Pennsylvania's all-male congressional delegation. A Wednesday morning headline in Boise announced: "Idaho's next Lt. Governor will be a woman, making state history."

Washington state arrived long ago at places women in other states are just now reaching.

We have been represented since 2000 by Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, D-Wash. Six of 12 members in Washington's congressional delegation are women. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., is the lone woman in the Republican House leadership.

Still, this year's wave of women candidates, many driven into politics by revulsion at President Donald Trump, will crest in this Washington.

"We are seeing some incredible women running, not just in the Seattle area but in places where seats have gone uncontested for years," said political consultant Theresa Purcell, who managed Murray's first Senate campaign in 1992.

Women are at the forefront of "efforts to bridge the rural-urban divide" in Washington, Purcell argued.

Here are races, contested by women, to watch across the state::

--McMorris Rodgers vs. Brown: The marquee matchup for Congress, in Eastern Washington's 5th District, is a contest between two politically experienced women. McMorris Rodgers is a rising Republican star in Congress, and the public face of Trump Administration policies in this Washington.

Brown is one of three women who have served as Washington State Senate Majority Leader. She left politics in 2012 to serve as chancellor at Washington State University-Spokane, and successfully pushed for Wazzu's new medical school.

--Doctors running for the House: The 8th Congressional District seat of retiring Republican U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert is a prime Democratic pickup target. Republicans have their pick, three-time statewide candidate Dino Rossi. He is doing traditional GOP events, like a Wednesday fundraiser with the Association of General Contractors.

The Democratic race has attracted two women doctors, each making her first bid for elective office. They are longtime Issaquah pediatrician Dr. Kim Schrier and Dr. Shannon Hader, formerly a top HIV/AIDS/TB manager at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

They are competing against fellow Democrat Jason Rittereiser, a feisty former King County deputy prosecutor.

--Herrera Beutler vs. Long: Republican U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler lost a lot of Democratic voters in the last redistricting, but the low-key Southwest Washington House member has a race on her hands.

WSU-Vancouver professor Carolyn Long has piled up support, including backing from two Democratic predecessors in the 3rd District, in a spirited and late-starting campaign. The 3rd District is likely scene of another contest between two women.

Southwest Washington has a history of sending "Gentle Ladies" to Congress: The not-so-gentle U.S. Rep. Julia Butler Hansen, nicknamed the "little old lady in logger's boots," served in the 1960's and early 1970's; progressive Rep. Jolene held the seat for three terms in the 1980's and early 1990's; She was unseated by militant conservative Republican Rep. Linda Smith.

--Claire Wilson vs. Mark Miloscia: State Sen. Mark Miloscia, R-30, has been a Democrat, a Republican and twice an unsuccessful candidate for Washington State Auditor. He is a moderate on economic issues, but an outspoken social conservative and opponent of abortion rights.

Wilson has never before sought partisan office. She is president of the Federal Way School Board and a veteran educator. The 30th District, straddling the King/Pierce County line, is a classic swing constituency and vortex of effort for both parties.

--Vargas vs. Ballew vs. Ericksen: State Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-42, co-chair of the 2016 Trump campaign, turned down a $134,000 job at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to stay in the State Senate. He represents a district with a little bit of liberal Bellingham and a whole lot of conservative rural Whatcom County.

An early Democratic challenger, popular Bellingham City Council member Pinky Vargas, has been joined by Tim Ballew II, former Lummi Nation tribal chair and member of the Whatcom County Council.

--Melanie Morgan vs. David Sawyer: State Rep. David Sawyer, D-29, faces a not-yet-complete improper conduct investigation, and has been temporarily removed from his House committee chairmanship.

He is being challenged by fellow Democrat Melanie Morgan, a member of the Franklin Pierce School Board and Pierce County Housing Authority. She has won a ringing endorsement from state Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

State Democratic Chair Tina Podlodowski has urged Sawyer not to run. He has filed for reelection.

Elsewhere in the Northwest, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown is running for reelection. In strongly Republican Idaho, ex-legislator Paulette Jordan is seeking to become the first female Native American governor in the United States.

Jordan, a Democrat, is, however, very much the underdog to Republican Lt. Governor Brad Little. The two are seeking to succeed retiring Gov. Butch Otter, best known for his blood thirsty remarks about killing wolves.

In Washington's very Republican 4th District, where a Democrat wasn't on the 2014 or 2016 general election ballot, U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., will get a workout from former Tri-Cities TV news anchor Christine Brown.

The 2018 vote is reminiscent of an election 26 years ago, when 1992 was proclaimed the "Year of the Woman."

Many were inspired to run by the Senate Judiciary Committee's oafish and uncomprehending treatment of law professor Anita Hill, who detailed sexual harassment by U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas.

A little known Shoreline state senator named Patty Murray took on Democratic Sen. Brock Adams -- who withdrew amidst scandal over allegedly drugging and assaulting women -- and then bested Republican U.S. Rep. Rod Chandler. She has won reelection four times.

Long a Republican bastion, the 1st Congressional District House seat was captured by a young Democratic legislator named Maria Cantwell.

Cantwell was unseated in 1994. She came back six years later, upsetting GOP Sen. Slade Gorton by a margin of fewer than 3,000 votes.

Cantwell is coasting to her fourth term, with a big war chest and no "name" Republican opponent, although GoodspaceGuy is making his 19th bid for public office. Cantwell is working her issues -- opioid regulation, net neutrality, and fighting for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge -- and quietly, relentlessly fundraising.

The long-ago "Year of the Woman" yielded two U.S. Senators in office to this day.