The race for Washington’s 5th Congressional District might be months away, but parties have already begun the foundational work of building up their bases. For the campaign of challenger Lisa Brown, that base showed up in droves Saturday.
Billed “Flip the Fifth,” the training event for volunteers drew 439 attendees, more than twice the number originally expected, organizers said.
“These numbers are great,” said Washington State Democratic Party Chairwoman Tina Podlodowski, one of the event’s featured speakers. “You don’t see this many people spending four-plus hours on a Saturday if there isn’t tremendous hunger for change.”
The session focused on outreach, training attendees in strategies to reach out to friends and acquaintances.
Brown is challenging incumbent Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers in the race for Washington’s 5th Congressional District seat.
The 5th Congressional District has not elected a Democrat since former House Speaker Tom Foley was ousted by voters in 1994 in favor of George Nethercutt. However, Brown’s track record as a former Washington legislator, coupled with the strong show of early support by volunteers, might turn the tide, organizers said.
As an indication, perhaps, that the steadfastly red district could shift, the race has already drawn the attention from the parties’ national apparatus. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has positioned itself behind Brown, with help so far limited to information sharing, while the Congressional Leadership Fund, a political action committee backed by House Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan, announced last week its own plans to open a field office in Eastern Washington.
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