Reichert challenged on two fronts
U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert, Republican from Washington's fast-changing 8th Congressional District, barely had time to sit down in his second...
U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert, Republican from Washington's fast-changing 8th Congressional District, barely had time to sit down in his second term before two challengers started working to defeat him in the 2008 election.
Never mind that the contest is almost 16 months away. As long and arduous as that sounds, the public will benefit from a vigorous primary debate between two Democrats, Darcy Burner, whom Reichert narrowly defeated in 2006, and state Sen. Rodney Tom of Medina, who entered the race this week.
Voters in East King and Pierce counties will learn a lot from the back-and-forth on issues such as the war and domestic spending in both the primary and general elections.
Burner already has raised more than $200,000 toward an expensive race. Tom is an aggressive door-beller and hard-charging campaigner with a profile that makes him a compelling candidate. He is a businessman, a fiscal conservative and social progressive.
He is also, as many people recall, a party switcher. He changed parties from Republican to Democrat over a year ago because he felt the GOP had drifted too far right, getting too much into people's personal lives.
The party switching cuts two ways. He certainly makes voters in the GOP nervous. But his moderate values will resonate well with independents.
Two Democrats barking at him so early may make Reichert nervous, but that is not necessarily a bad thing.
Reichert is a conservative — maybe too conservative for his district. Yet, he has been willing to stretch himself to independent votes on such matters as the environment and on the absurdity of the government intervening in the Terri Schiavo case. Schiavo was the severely brain-damaged Florida woman.
The 8th District race will be hard fought in both the primary and the general election seasons. Sounds exhausting in a way, but Tom is a welcome addition to an important campaign.
When vice president of Sub Pop Records Megan Jasper isn't running things at the office, she's working in her garden at her West Seattle home where she and her husband Brian spend time relaxing.