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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spin Control

Rothenburg: 3 NW races in play

Political pundit & prognasticator Stuart Rothenburg lists several Pacific Northwest races as ones to watch in the 2010 congressional elections.

Like many politicos, he lists Idaho's Walt Minnick, a freshman Democratic congressman representing a Republican district. Idaho's 1st Congressional District is listed "Toss Up, tilt  Republican.

Rothenburg lists Southwest Washington's 3rd District, where Democratic Rep. Brian Baird is retiring, as "pure toss-up." Not surprising considering people in that part of the state are lining up for a chance to replace Baird, and there's no clear leader for either party yet.

Suburban King County's 8th District, occupied by Republican Rep. Dave Reichart is listed as "lean Republican", which is about par for the course. Reichart always seems to survive, despite being on these lists, although some people wonder if he'll be the "name" candidate Republicans will get to challenge Democratic Sen. Patty Murray this year. (Don't bet the rent on that.)

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The Spokesman-Review's political team keeps a critical eye on local, state and national politics.