Wednesday, February 8, 2023

King County Councilor Reagan Dunn will challenge Republican Kim Schrier in Washington’s 8th arrondissement

Metropolitan County Councilor Reagan Dunn is campaigning for a seat in Washington’s 8th District House of Representatives, challenging incumbent Democratic MP Kim Schrier over the medium term of 2022.

Dunn, a Republican whose mother has represented the district for six terms, confirmed his candidacy in a telephone interview Monday morning.

“I am deeply concerned about the direction of the United States. The President and Congress in Washington DC, including the incumbent, are making our country weaker, not stronger, ”Dunn said.

Schrier, 53, is a pediatrician during her second term in Congress. She serves on the House of Representatives Committees on Energy, Trade and Agriculture.

Dunn’s announcement creates a potential top-level race for a replacement seat in Congress that Republicans held until Schrier turned it over in favor of Democrats in 2018, helping the party gain control of the House of Representatives.

Dunn’s campaign will be spearheaded by former U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert, whose decision not to seek re-election in 2018 opened the door for Schrier and Democrats to seize the historically-held Republican seat amid backlash against then President Donald Trump.

In 2022, Democrats are already grappling with concerns about President Joe Biden’s poor polling results, despite the recent adoption of a $ 1 trillion infrastructure package that will increase spending on deteriorating roads, bridges and ports across the country.

Included in the expense account is a Schrier-sponsored measure, the Old Roads and Trails Act, which allows $ 250 million in deferred maintenance and repair of National Forest System roads, trails and bridges, and improved fish habitat.

Dunn, 50, has been a County Councilor since 2005. In 2012, he unsuccessfully ran for the state attorney general, losing to Bob Ferguson. In November, he was re-elected to his position on the council and said he would remain in that position while he ran for Congress. A former federal attorney, he focused on fighting crime and homelessness during his recent re-election campaign, pushing for more funding for the King County Sheriff’s Office.

He previously oversaw the 8th arrondissement, represented by his mother, Jennifer Dunn, for six terms from 1993 to 2005. She died in 2007. In 2018, he gave way to former State Senator Dino Rossi, who lost to Schrier. in a bitter race at a cost of $ 30 million.

“We’re going to take a mom’s seat in Congress,” Reagan Dunn said on Monday.

Joanna Warshaw, spokeswoman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, mocked Dunn in a statement, criticizing his vote against the COVID-19 relief bill in the county and for losing more votes than any county councilor at one point. …

“Regardless of how many extreme or out-of-the-box candidates Republicans try to get in this race, Washington DC voters will continue to support Congresswoman Kim Schrier because they know her track record for accelerating our economic recovery, supporting small businesses and bringing people back. work, ”said Warshaw.

Elizabeth Carlson, Schrier’s campaign spokeswoman, said in a statement that “no one works harder” for the district than Schrier, saying her priorities include rebuilding the economy “on track” and vaccinating more Americans so we can defeat this virus once and for all. and return life to normal. “

Dunn seeks to position himself as moderate – as his mother used to think – against a backdrop of what he sees as the counterproductive tribalism that defines modern politics.

In an interview, Dunn said he voted for Trump in 2020 but, unlike many Republicans, does not question the legitimacy of Biden’s victory.

Dunn, however, said he would not vote to impeach Trump over the January 6 U.S. Capitol riots.

This puts him in conflict with two of Washington’s three incumbent Republican congressional representatives – Jaime Herrera Beitler and Dan Newhouse – who voted to impeach Trump.

The January 6 riots were sparked by Trump’s false claims that widespread electoral fraud cost him his election, and they stormed the Capitol to try to thwart confirmation of Biden’s victory, with some chanting to hang then Vice President Mike Pence. Herrera Beitler and Newhouse, in an impeachment vote, said Trump had provoked the unrest and renounced his constitutional duty to defend a peaceful transfer of power.

But Dunn said that while he considers January 6 “the saddest day in American history,” he sees no “hard evidence” that Trump was responsible for the attack. “Things like the January 6th investigation by Congress is just creating further rift in our country,” he said.

Schrier joined the rest of the state’s Democratic Party and voted to impeach Trump for his role in the riots. She also supported his first impeachment in 2019 for using his official powers in an attempt to pressure Ukraine into an investigation into Biden and his family.

Dunn said he believed the Washington election was clean, especially after reforms following the state’s controversial 2004 governor elections. He said all states must be vigilant in cleaning up voter lists and curb any cases of fraud.

“Just like the war on drugs, you have to carry on like this, every day, every year,” he said.

Dunn, who is recovering from alcoholism and says he quit drinking four years ago, pointed to waves of overdose deaths in the US and locally, saying that “the decriminalization of drugs is a huge problem for our society.”

Dunn said he plans to make his own addiction experience part of his campaign.

He said efforts to help the homeless should include more inpatient and outpatient treatment options beyond housing. He also said that more needs to be done nationwide to stop drugs crossing the border.

Dunn argues that Democrats in Congress and the Biden administration have used the COVID-19 pandemic “for irresponsible spending,” calling the recently passed infrastructure law too large.

Although he said he received vaccinations, including a recent revaccination, Dunn objected to overly strict vaccination requirements such as those imposed by King County and Washington State. He said the state should have followed the lead of many others and allowed regular coronavirus tests as an alternative to anti-vaccination workers.

Schreier had already clashed with other stated Republican contenders prior to Dunn’s announcement, including Jesse Jensen, an Army Ranger combat veteran and manager of a tech firm who ran for the seat in 2020, and Matt Larkin, a lawyer and chief executive of his family’s manufacturing firm.

As of September 30, Schrier’s re-election campaign was secured in cash in the amount of $ 3.2 million, according to FEC reports. Jensen had about $ 295.00 and Larkin had about $ 235,000. Dunn’s campaign has yet to submit a report to the FEC, but the candidate said Monday it raised $ 250,000 in six days since the study committee was set up.

Dunn’s decision to run was made despite uncertainty over the exact boundaries of the 8th constituency in the 2022 election.

The bipartisan state redeployment commissioner recently released proposed new maps for the state’s constituencies and legislatures, but agreement was reached after the statutory deadline of November 15 expired.

This leaves the final mapping authority in the hands of the State Supreme Court, which is due to make its decision by April 30th.

Dunn said he is confident the court will accept the commission’s recommendation, citing unanimous support expressed by two Republicans and two Democratic commissioners, as well as its bipartisan chairman.

The 8th arrondissement covers approximately the middle of the state, traversing the Cascade Mountains along the Interstate 90 corridor. It runs from eastern Pierce and King counties, including Issaqua, Sammamish, and Kent, to Kittitas and Chelan counties in central Washington, including Ellensburg and Venatchi.

The map, agreed by the Land Redistribution Commission, will retain this basic structure, extending north and capturing portions of Snohomish County along the Highway 2 corridor.

The guerrilla split will come close to the current constituency lines, which, judging by the results of the recent elections, will be slightly less favorable for the Democrats.

Republicans usually called on the court to approve the district redistribution commission’s proposal, but some National Democrats called on the court to start over.

“Given the concerns that have been raised about the commission process, we call on the Court to provide Washington voters with a complete constituency redistribution process that is transparent from start to finish and prioritizes new public participation,” said Kelly Burton, president of the National Democratic Party. The Boundary Review Committee in a statement earlier this month.

The Sun Sets Over The Seattle Skyline On October 11.  (Daniel Kim / The Seattle Times) #

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