February 11, 2012 in City

Cowan throws hat in ring for Congress

Film company CEO to run as Democrat
By The Spokesman-Review
 
The odds

Eastern Washington’s 5th Congressional District has elected only Republicans starting in 1994, when George Nethercutt defeated then-House Speaker Tom Foley.

A local film director says he’s ready for a career change.

Rich Cowan, president and CEO of North by Northwest, a Spokane-based film production company, said Friday that he’s decided to run for Congress this year against U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane.

Cowan, a Democrat from Spokane, said he will resign on March 1 from the film company he’s led since 1990 to focus fully on his campaign.

“This is a serious race,” he said. “Right now Congress is broke and we need to fix it.”

Cowan, 56, was born in Spokane but grew up mostly in Kirkland, Wash. He graduated from Washington State University and moved back to Spokane.

As of the end of the year, McMorris Rodgers had $720,000 in her campaign fund, according to the Federal Election Commission.

Cowan said he expects to be competitive with McMorris Rodgers in fundraising.

Gonzaga Law School professor Dan Morrissey, who said last year that he was considering a bid against McMorris Rodgers, said Friday that he has decided against it.

Morrissey cited “personal financial reasons” for declining to enter the race, but said he’ll support the Democrat who emerges to challenge the incumbent.

Former Spokane Mayor Mary Verner also has expressed interest in the seat. An attempt to reach her on Friday was unsuccessful.


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