Rossi and Schrier lead 8th Congressional District race

Republican Dino Rossi and Democrat Kim Schrier are the top two finishers in the Aug. 7 primary race for U.S. Representative in Washington’s 8th Congressional District.

Early results show Rossi leading the 12-candidate field with 39.2 percent of the vote, followed by Schrier with 21.3 percent.

This was by far the most closely watched and high stakes national-level race in the region. The district spans multiple counties from Issaquah, Covington, Maple Valley, Auburn and Enumclaw in King County west of the Cascade Mountains to Ellensburg and Wenatchee on the other side of the range.

Last September, Congressman Dave Reichert announced that he wouldn’t seek re-election in the district, quickly making the open seat a priority race for Democrats seeking to take control of the U.S. House of Representatives. The Cook Political Report has deemed it one of the nation’s “toss up” seats.

In response, Republicans fielded Rossi, a former Washington state senator who failed in two bids for governor and one for U.S. Sen. Patty Murray’s seat. And since Reichert won all of his re-election bids since he first ran in 2004, it was practically assured that the district’s conservative voter base would propel Rossi through the the November general election.

On the other side of the aisle, three Democrats jumped into the ring: Schrier, a pediatrician based in Issaquah; Shannon Hader, a former public health official at the Centers for Disease Control; and Jason Rittereiser, a Seattle lawyer originally from Ellensburg.

And money has poured in from donors and political action committees. While mainly waiting to see who his Democratic challenger will be, Rossi has distanced himself somewhat from the Trump administration by diverging with him on trade tariffs.

Other top finishers in Tuesday’s primary are Rittereiser with 18.2 percent and Hader with 14 percent.

Given that their policy platforms were largely uniform, the Democratic candidates distinguished themselves with minor degrees of separation, their backgrounds, and who was best positioned to beat Rossi in November. All three candidates ripped Rossi for his stances on abortion (he argues that abortion is only justified in cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is threatened), while Schrier and Hader argued that more female doctors are needed in Congress.

Rittereiser played up his rural roots in Ellensburg by putting out an ad featuring him on a tractor while also maintaining progressive policy positions like endorsing a House bill that would enact universal Medicare.

In one of the race’s key confrontational moments, Schier took flak from her opponents for indicating at a candidate forum that she didn’t support mandating vaccinations for children. She claimed that she didn’t understand the question and supports vaccinations.

More in News

Despite Supreme Court Ruling, activists fight youth incarceration in King County

No New Youth Jail Coalition members send Valentines to King County officials asking them to reconsider funding priorities

Sen. Das pitches bill to do away with plastic bags

Sen. Mona Das wants to sack plastic bags. The first-term Democratic senator… Continue reading

Southbound traffic backs up as northbound drivers cruise on with ease on the Highway 99 viaduct on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
WSDOT hopes ‘Viadoom’ habits continue

The department credits commuters with adapting to the closure and mitigating impacts.

Rep. Entenman proposes sales tax break for low- and middle-income families

Rep. Debra Entenman, D-Kent, who represents the 47th Legislative District, has proposed… Continue reading

President’s emergency declaration sparks immediate legal backlash

Attorney General Bob Ferguson said his team will sue the White House if federal funds originally intended for Washington state are interrupted.

Covington mayor re-elected to association board and more community news

Covington mayor re-elected to association board Covington Mayor Jeff Wagner was reelected… Continue reading

School’s out Friday in Kent because of storm

Too much slush, ice in parking lots; winter break next week

Bill targets sexual health curriculum in Washington schools

Senate Bill 5395 is co-sponsored by 17 Democratic representatives and introduced by Sen. Claire Wilson, D-Federal Way.

According to King County’s Mental Illness and Drug Dependency (MIDD) annual report, Seattle had the highest rate of people using services at 36 percent of the total, followed by 31 percent from South King County, 18 percent from the greater Eastside, and 7 percent from north county including Shoreline.
Study shows King County’s treatment funding is making progress

A document on the county’s .1 percent health sales tax was accepted Wednesday by the county council.

Most Read