ADVERTISEMENT
Advertise Here

Spin Control

Posts tagged: 5th Congressional District

McMorris Rodgers challenges Pakootas to 3 debates

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers challenged Democratic opponent Joe Pakootas today to three debates this fall, including two in Spokane. Pakootas said he planned to counter with a proposal to do at least two more in other areas around the large congressional district. . .

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, continue inside the blog.

 

Sunday Spin: A class in primary math

The weekend after the primary seems like a good time for a lesson in primary numbers, which is offered by the Poli Sci Department, not the Math Department.

Election Math 101 teaches us that the most important number is who has the most votes. But other numbers matter, particularly in a Washington state primary, which is brought to you by the number 2 – as in the top two vote-getters go to the general election, no matter what. . . 

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, continue inside the blog.

WA Elex Congress: McMorris Rodger v. Pakootas; Didier v. Newhouse

Congress may be unpopular, but in Eastern Washington’s 5th Congressional District, five-term incumbent Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers was not with voters casting ballots in Tuesday’s primary.

McMorris Rodgers, a member of the GOP leadership in the House, finished the evening with more than half the votes cast in the 10-county district. She’ll face Democrat Joe Pakootas, the chief executive officer of the Colville Tribe’s business operations, in the general election and said she was encouraged by the strong showing in the four-way primary.

“To me, it indicates the trust and confidence people have in my representation,” she said. “I’m someone a lot of people can relate to.”

The job ratings for Congress overall have been low for months, but people often have a better opinion of their own representative. But earlier Tuesday, a Washington Post-ABC News poll said Americans are more dissatisfied with their member of Congress than ever. The survey said 51 percent reported they either strongly disapprove or somewhat disapprove of the way their representative is  handling his or her job.

McMorris Rodgers had about 51.7 percent of the votes after county elections offices shut down for the night. Most will count more ballots on Wednesday, and results will be official on Aug. 19.

Pakootas, who finished the night with about 29 percent of the vote, acknowledged he has a tough challenge ahead but declared himself excited and energized by surviving the primary.

“I think it will be easier to run head-to-head” where voters can compare their records on job creation and economic views, he said.

One challenge, he added, will be to get more Democrats to the polls. Outside of Spokane, many county and legislative offices are held by Republicans who have no or only token Democratic opposition.

Two other challengers were eliminated. Independent Dave Wilson, who built and then sold a computer training school, tried to appeal to the disaffected voters unhappy with both parties in general and Congress in particular. Republican Tom Horne, a volunteer firefighter and retired engineer, ran to the right of McMorris Rodgers, criticizing Republican leadership in the House and calling for more challenges to President Obama.

In Central Washington’s wild primary for an open seat, a pair of Republicans will compete in the state’s first all-GOP congressional general election race. Eltopia farmer and former NFL player Clint Didier, a Tea Party favorite, has a commanding lead in the 12-person field with about 30 percent of the vote. He was almost 3,000 votes ahead of former state Ag Director Dan Newhouse, of Yakima, a mainstream Republican. With all counties reporting election night tallies, Newhouse has twice the votes of the Estakio Beltran, a Democrat in third place who was slightly ahead of Janea Holmquist, a Moses Lake legislator who gave up her Senate seat to run for Congress.

The race drew an even dozen candidates – eight Republicans, two Democrats and two independents. The Republicans all ran as conservatives who believe in smaller government, lower taxes and gun rights. In resumes and approaches to government, they represented a wide spectrum from mainstream to Tea Party.

Under the state’s top two primary system, the candidates with the most and second-most votes advance to the general election regardless of party.

McMorris Rodgers won’t debate before primary

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers said she wants to debate her opponent in this year's election — but only after the primary.

The five-term incumbent Republican responded to a challenge from independent Dave Wilson, who wanted to debate five times before the primary and five times after it. She has a less ambitious counter.

“I was planning on writing to discuss debates as soon as we are certain who the candidates will be in November,” she said in a letter to Wilson that welcomed him to the campaign. “I am committed to doing all I can for Eastern Washington during July's busy congressional schedule but am eager for debates in the fall.”

Wilson said he was disappointed at her refusal to debate before the primary, and found her response “a little trite.” But he added: “I was surprised I heard anything at all from her.”

McMorris Rodgers has never failed to debate an opponent in a congressional campaign, although she has had a few dust-ups over scheduling in recent elections . . . 

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, continue inside the blog.

McMorris Rodgers challengers find hope in Cantor loss

The day after the House’s No. 2 Republican fell to a primary challenger, Eastern Washington congressional candidates were hoping Wednesday for a boost to knock off the No. 4 Republican.

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers faces three challengers in the August primary – one Republican, one Democrat and one independent. Each thought the defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor validated some aspects of their races, which appear to be long-shot bids against the five-term incumbent.

All three will run low-budget, populist races against the House Republican Conference chairwoman, hoping to finish at least second in the primary and then defeat her in a head-to-head contest in November. . . 

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, continue inside the blog.

McMorris Rodgers draws 3rd opponent as filing week closes

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers drew a third challenger and several other political races filled out Friday on the last day for candidates to file for office in Washington.

Tom Horne of Nine Mile Falls filed as a Republican against McMorris Rodgers, who is seeking a fifth term in Eastern Washington’s 5th Congressional District. Horne hasn’t filed with the Federal Elections Commission or made a formal campaign announcement, and couldn’t immediately be reached for comment on his plans to unseat a fellow Republican. An internet search indicates he’s a firefighter and the inventor of the “Jake knife” a tool used by firefighters.

The race already includes independent Dave Wilson, a Spokane business consultant, and Democrat Joe Pakootas, chief executive officer of the corporation that manages Colville Tribal businesses.

Other last-day filings included former Spokane Valley Mayor Diana Wilhite, who made it a three-way race for a 4th Legislative District House seat, which also includes appointed incumbent Leonard Christian and Valley school teacher Bob McCaslin Jr. Rep. Matt Shea filed for re-election to the other seat and drew a challenge from Josh Arritola, who runs a management consulting firm. All five 4th District candidates are Republicans.

Randy Glenn II, an information technology manager filed as a Libertarian in the 3rd Legislative District House race that already included incumbent Democrat Marcus Riccelli and Republican Tim Benn, a day care center co-owner. Glenn is one of three Libertarians in local legislative races, along with Paul Delaney of Spokane, who is running for the other 3rd District seat against Democratic Rep. Timm Ormsby, and James Apker of Mead, who is challenging 7th District Republican Rep. Shelly Short.

Donald Dover, a retired manager of distance learning programs for Washington State University filed against Republican Rep. Kevin Parker in the 6th District and Ronnie Rae, a Loon Lake attorney, filed with a “Centralist Party” preference against Republican Rep. Joel Kretz in the 7th District. Rae said that’s not a real party but a description of his political philosophy.

For a list of candidates who have filed for offices that would be on Spokane area ballots, click here to go inside the blog.

4th Cong District: Holmquist Newbry makes 8

In a sign that politics abhors a vacuum almost as much as nature, an open seat in Central Washington’s 4th Congressional District has drawn eight candidates with two days left in the state’s filing week.

State Sen. Janéa Holmquist Newbry, R-Moses Lake, on Wednesday afternoon joined six other Republicans and one Democrat seeking to replace 20-year veteran Richard “Doc” Hastings in a district that stretches from Canada to the Columbia River and also includes Yakima and the Tri-Cities.

Other Republicans in the race include former legislator and state Agriculture Director Dan Newhouse; rancher Clint Didier, who has run for U.S. Senate and state lands commissioner; Tri-Cities attorney George Cicotte; Rite Aid supervisor Kevin Midbust; videographer Gavin Seim and economic development specialist Glen Stockwell.

Jamie Wheeler, an in-home care provider who previously announced a campaign on Facebook but had not filed papers with the Federal Election Commission said Wednesday she would not run.

Estakio Beltran, a former congressional aide, is the lone Democrat at this point. . . 

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, continue inside the blog.

 

McMorris Rodgers makes 2014 bid official

Cathy McMorris Rodgers made her re-election campaign official Monday, announcing she’ll seek a sixth term in the House of Representatives.

The announcement is primarily a formality because the Spokane-area Republican has been raising money almost since the 2012 election ended and already has collected some $1.3 million for the upcoming campaign.

Rival Democrats have recruited Joe Pakootas, chief executive officer of the Colville Tribal business operation to run against her. David Wilson, former head of Interface College, is running as an independent.

In her announcement. . . 

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, click here to continue inside the blog.

Pakootas hopes McMorris Rodgers’ rank works against her

As a member of Congress gains stature in Washington, D.C., opponents often have more trouble defeating them in elections back home. Eastern Washington Democrats are hoping the reverse is true this year as Joe Pakootas prepares to run against Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers.

He’s counting on a boost from the public’s general low opinion of Congress, its partisan wrangling and its short time in session will work against the 10-year incumbent who is part of Republican leadership. . .

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, continue inside the blog.

DCCC needs to check its math

National political groups try to find deep meaning in local elections, so it's not surprising the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee wants to spread Tuesday's victory in Arizona over as much of the country as possible.

But they may need a new calculator before they use it as a bellwether for Eastern Washington's 5th Congressional District.

Wednesday afternoon the group dedicated to electing Democrats to the U.S. House sent out a press release with this headline:

Democrats Win Special Election in More Republican District Than Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers

That, not surprisingly, had us at Spin Control scratching our heads. Didn't the district in question, Arizona's  8th Congressional District, have a Democratic congresswoman, Gabby Giffords, for the last five years? Whereas Eastern Washington's 5th hasn't had a Democratic congressperson since 1994.

How do ya figure “more Republican”? Spin Control asked Steve Carter, the DCCC representative for western states.

There's no one way to rate how partisan a district is, Carter said. “That's one way to look at it,” he said when we brought up the 18-year gap for electing a Dem to the House. The DCCC, however, chose to look at it a different way…

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, click to go inside the blog.

Cowan opens HQ for race against McMorris Rodgers

As a political novice running against a member of the congressional leadership, Rich Cowan said he hopes to use what some would consider his weakness against what many would consider Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ strength.
“This is the worst Congress ever, and she’s part of the leadership of it,” said Cowan, who opened a campaign headquarters Tuesday in Spokane.
  

McMorris Rodgers names district director

Spokane attorney Dick Leland is the new district director for Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers.

The congresswoman's office made the announcement today that Leland, who worked for the Farm Credit System before becoming a lawyer, is her pick to replace the former director of  her Eastern Washington offices, David Condon.

Condon stepped down last May to run for mayor of Spokane. That worked out so well for  him that he is now otherwise occupied.

GU professor could challenge McMorris Rodgers

A former dean of Gonzaga University Law School is among Democrats considering a campaign against Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers next year.
Dan Morrissey, who served as dean from 2001-04 and now teaches corporate law at the school, said he is exploring his prospects for a race and expects to decide by next month.
“I’m testing the waters,” he said, which includes speaking to party gatherings in Eastern Washington’s 5th Congressional District and discussions with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, a group that recruits and raises money for candidates.
 Morrissey, 63, is one of several Democrats that party sources have named as a potential challenger to McMorris Rodgers, a member of the House GOP leadership who would be seeking a fifth term in 2012.
Also among the potential candidates: outgoing Spokane Mayor Mary Verner, longtime Spokane television reporter Daryl Romeyn, who won the Democratic primary in the 5th Congressional District last year but lost to McMorris Rodgers in the general election, and Rich Cowan, chief executive officer of North by Northwest productions.
Whoever runs could face an uphill battle…

McMorris Rodgers starting 2012 campaign

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers will kick off  her 2012 re-election campaign next month with fund-raisers in Spokane, Walla Walla and Colville.

Traditionally, McMorris Rodgers' campaign starters are around St. Patrick's Day, and have Irish green theme. But they're also usually in the year of the election. This time around, they'll be around Easter week, but quite a bit earlier.

Having coasted to victory last November and moving up in a GOP leadership returned to the House majority, there's little doubt McMorris Rodgers will be a tough incumbent to beat in 2012. After giving birth to her second child last year, the early announcement may at least quiet GOP hopefuls who like to speculate she'll give up her House seat to spend more time being a mom.

In other McMorris Rodgers' related news, the Eastern Washington congresswoman got a pat on the back from the Washington Post for her explanation of a budget problem. The Post has what it calls the Pinocchio Test for pronouncements by public officials, and the more factually challenged a statement is, the more Pinocchios it receives.

If, however, the statement is true, it receives a “Gepetto Checkmark” (It's not clear why it doesn't receive a Jiminy Crickett checkmark, since it was the the singing insect that was so big on truthiness.) McMorris Rodgers received a checkmark for her explanation that the federal government borrows $7 for every $10 it spends. The full article can be found by clicking here.

Debate reminder: McMorris Rodgers v. Romeyn tonight

In what may be the most anticipated 5th District Congressional debate in years, Republican incumbent Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Democratic challenger Daryl Romeyn go head-to-head tonight on television.

They’ll be answering questions from a panel that includes Spokesman-Review reporter and Spin Control contributor Jonathan Brunt, public radio’s Doug Nadvornik, and KXLY-TV’s Robin Nance. KXLY-TV’s Nadine Woodward is the moderator. (So Nance and Woodward are switching roles from last week’s U.S. Senate debate.)

The anticipation isn’t because the race is thought to be particularly close, or because the two are recognized as master debaters, but because at various times they both refused to do this debate, the only televised matchup proposed for the race. The agreement wasn’t reached until early Monday, which is way quick for a televised debate.

Because the debate is being taped earlier in the day, there are two chances to see it: 7 p.m. on KXLY-TV and 8 p.m. on KSPS-TV. KXLY will also stream it live on the station’s web site.

And, of course, there will be coverage on spokesman.com this evening, and in Wednesday’s newspaper. 

 

Congressional debate off, again (or still)

Just days after saying Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ refusal to debate was denying him a voice, congressional challenger Daryl Romeyn refused to debate when she changed her mind and offered to debate next week.

Whether the two candidates will meet face-to-face before the Nov. 2 election seems doubtful, but one thing seems sure. There will be no televised debate next week on KSPS-TV and KXLY-TV.

McMorris Rodgers’ campaign contacted debate organizers on Friday,saying she wanted to withdraw her withdrawal from the Oct. 19 debate. The campaign said earlier in the week that she wouldn’t participate due to “scheduling constraints.” Producer Jill Johnson got tentative approval from the two stations, but couldn’t contact Romeyn until the evening after he’d been interviewed on KXLY-TV’s 6 p.m. newscast where he said he wasn’t going to agree to the new offer.

To read more about the debate over a debate that turned into a non-debate, read this morning’s story.

McMorris Rodgers, Romeyn may debate after all

A few days after saying they couldn’t fit a debate into Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ schedule, the Republican incumbent’s campaign has shifted course and asked if she could debate Daryl Romeyn after all.

The campaign called KSPS-TV producer Jill Johnson this morning, asking if the offer to debate on Channel 7 and KXLY-TV next week was still open. Johnson said she would check with the two stations, and Romeyn, to see if it could be arranged. 

Nothing definite yet, Johnson said, because she now needs to contact Romeyn, who’d been told the debate was off. “We’re interested in making it happen,” she said.

Earlier in the week, the campaign had declined that matchup, the one proposed televised debate for the 5th Congressional District, because of “scheduling constraints.”

A post Wednesday in Spin Control and a story in the Spokesman-Review on Thursday noted that McMorris Rodgers had turned down that debate and no others were scheduled, which suggested Eastern Washington’s 5th Congressional District might be without a face-to-face debate for the first time in decades. That story apparently struck a chord with readers, and is currently the most-commented story on the newspaper’s Web site.

UPDATE: McMorris Rodgers’ campaign issued a press release this afternoon saying she has agreed to the debate, although Johnson said she had yet to contact Romeyn to confirm that he could schedule it. The text of the McMorris Rodgers press release can be found inside the blog.

 

No debate in the 5th Congressional District

For the first time in decades, there will be no debate or face-to-face forum for candidates in Eastern Washington’s 5th Congressional District race because the incumbent is refusing to participate.

U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ campaign said Wednesday she will not debate Democratic challenger Daryl Romeyn “due to scheduling constraints.”

McMorris Rodgers, seeking her fourth term in the House where she holds a GOP leadership position, declined this week to participate in the one proposed televised debate, a one-hour question-and-answer session next week on KSPS-TV and KXLY-TV, after more than a month of discussions.

She also turned down other forums with Romeyn, a novice candidate whom she outpolled nearly 5-to-1 in the primary and holds a 100-to-1 advantage in campaign contributions in the latest spending reports.

“I don’t think that’s the way American democracy works,” Romeyn, a former television weatherman and outdoor reporter, said. “They must feel putting her out there (in a debate) would do more damage than holding her back.”

McMorris Rodgers said Wednesday  her campaign waited to commit to debates because Romeyn was slow to file reports with the Federal Election Commission after the primary and “we weren’t sure how serious of a candidate he was.” The campaign later tried to identify some dates but couldn’t fit them in with other scheduled events…to read more, click here to go inside the blog.

More woes for would-be congressman David Fox

Last week, Spin Control reported on the travails of David Fox, one of five challengers in the 5th Congressional District primary. Turns out he’s got a financial problem as well. Here’s the story from this morning’s Spokesman-Review print edition:

A Democratic candidate for Eastern Washington’s congressional seat is getting a past-due notice from the state this week because the check for his $1,740 filing fee bounced.

David R. Fox, a Port Angeles attorney who moved to Spokane to run against Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, is being warned to pay up in 30 days or see a 1 percent per month interest charge tacked onto the filing fee.

If he doesn’t pay in 60 days, the state will send the bill to a collection agency, a spokesman for the secretary of state’s office said.

The state Elections Office has been trying to get the filing fee from Fox since early July, when the check he wrote was returned for insufficient funds, e-mail correspondence between the office and the candidate indicates. After the check bounced . . .

 

Congressional candidate says he asked for sex, got assaulted

A Democratic candidate for Congress told police he was assaulted Sunday night near downtown Spokane after making sexual advances to another man.

David R. Fox, a Port Angeles attorney who moved to Spokane recently to run against Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, told police he wasn’t injured in the altercation but he is pressing charges against his alleged assailant, Nathaniel Washington.

Washington, a 32-year-old Spokane resident, is out on $100 bond after being charged with misdemeanor assault and obstructing an officer.

Fox, 49, one of four Democrats in the Aug. 17 congressional primary, is an unconventional candidate who entered the race in the final hour of filing week, and has no known campaign office or website. The phone number listed on his candidate petition and the state’s online voter’s guide rings at his former Port Angeles residence, where the person who answered Thursday said “I really, honestly don’t know” how to contact Fox.

The cell phone Fox used at the beginning of the campaign is no longer in service, and efforts to contact him by e-mail were unsuccessful.

Local Democratic officials say they don’t know Fox, and the party has endorsed Clyde Cordero.
An attorney who primarily performs pro bono work, Fox has a checkered history that includes …

Get blog updates by email

About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

Latest comments »

Read all the posts from recent conversations on Spin Control.

Search this blog
Subscribe to this blog
ADVERTISEMENT
Advertise Here