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A Friday afternoon 1st Congressional District free-for-all
Like many candidate final filing days, Friday proved to be a giant she's-in-he's-out headache for candidates in the regular two-year 1st Congressional District race.
First Democrat Darcy Burner jumped into the special election to fill the last month of Jay Inslee's term. In doing so, she shattered an informal plan by the state Democratic Party to help candidates avoid the hassle and expense of running two different races before two somewhat different audiences. The newly drawn 1st District covers territory notably different from the old 1st.
Within hours, most better known candidates for the two-year term joined the special election free-for-all. Democrats Suzan DelBene, Laura Ruderman, Darshan Rauniyar were in, and, so, too, was Republican John Koster.
One candidate for the two-year term, Democratic state Sen. Steve Hobbs was, reluctantly, in for the one-month contest for about a minute before he decided against the idea.
He promptly issued a blistering press release chastising the others for trying to get around campaign finance laws, and, well, in some cases, carpet-bagging.
" I'm appalled that Suzan, Laura, Darcy, Darshan, and John are trying to manipulate and circumvent campaign finance laws. Just as bad, Suzan and Darcy don't even live in the district they're trying to represent now," said Hobbs. "This is exactly the kind of financial trickery and shifty politics that voters hate. Real middle class folks don't get to rely on financial sleight of hand like some people can."
Both contests are going to be highly competitive and expensive and, in the end, confusing for voters.
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