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Originally published Wednesday, June 1, 2011 at 4:06 PM

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Ruderman may run for Inslee's seat or in another district

More than a decade after she bowed out of a congressional race rather than face off against U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee, Laura Ruderman has filed to run for Congress again.

Seattle Times Washington bureau

quotes I hope James Watkins runs again for Inslee's seat again in 2012. The 1st district would... Read more
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WASHINGTON — More than a decade after she bowed out of a congressional race rather than face off against U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee, Laura Ruderman has filed to run for Congress again.

This time, the former three-term Democratic state representative wants Inslee's 1st Congressional District seat — but only if he doesn't.

Ruderman said Inslee, an eight-term incumbent, has "done as fantastic a job as I'm looking forward to doing. I have no interest in taking him on."

But the Kirkland resident is betting that Inslee, D-Bainbridge Island, will move on to pursue the governor's mansion.

"I do believe that my name will be on the ballot in 2012," said Ruderman, who filed Wednesday with the Federal Election Commission.

Inslee's political future is but one uncertainty for Ruderman. She said she also may decide to run in the state's new 10th Congressional District if its boundaries are drawn to include her home northeast of downtown Kirkland.

In 2004, Ruderman ran for secretary of state instead of seeking a fourth term in the Legislature. She lost to Republican Sam Reed. The next year, she lost to Dwight Pelz for chairmanship of the Washington State Democratic Party.

Since then, Ruderman has married and become a stepmother of two. She also has been working as a consultant and fundraiser. Among Democrats she helped to get elected are Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn, Port of Seattle Commissioner Gael Tarleton and state Sen. Nick Harper, D-Everett.

Ruderman said she wants to clean up the "outrageous mess in Washington, D.C." Lawmakers worry more about getting re-elected than "fixing real problems with real and complicated solutions," she said.

Ruderman launched her bid for Congress in 1998 to unseat Republican Rick White. Inslee's entry into the race prompted her to drop out three weeks later.

Ruderman said at the time it was more important to elect a Democrat than to elect her, and she immediately announced her candidacy for the state House seat in the 45th District.

Ruderman said she has fought for traditional Democratic priorities, including support for public schools and environmental issues. Yet her bare-bones campaign website does not play up her political affiliation.

A New York transplant, Ruderman moved to Seattle in 1992 for a stage-management internship at Seattle Repertory Theatre. She later worked at Microsoft as a website producer and program manager.

Kyung Song: 202-662-7455 or ksong@seattletimes.com

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