City: Spokane, Washington
Education: Graduated from Robinson High School in Illinois in 1974. Graduated from the University of Illinois in 1978 with a bachelor’s degree in economics. Graduated from the University of Colorado in 1986 with a doctorate in economics.
Work experience: Chancellor of Washington State University Spokane from 2013-17. Associate professor of Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University from 2001-2012. Assistant and associate professor of economics at Eastern Washington University from 1981-2001. As a young adult, worked in fast food restaurants and bookstores, as well as a summer working at the Marathon oil refinery where her dad worked. Formerly served on the boards of YWCA, Spokane Neighborhood Action Partners, Greater Spokane Incorporated, the University District Public Development Authority and Innovate Washington.
Political experience: State Department of Commerce from 2019 to early 2023. Ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2018, losing to U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers. Elected as a state representative for the 3rd Legislative District, serving from 1993-96. Elected a state senator of the 3rd District, serving from 1997-2012. Served as Senate Majority Leader from 2008-2012.
Family: Married to Brian McClatchey. Has one adult son and one grandson.
Political donations: Reported raising about $464,000 as of Oct. 16, including major donations from the Washington state Democratic Central Committee, the Spokane Tribe of Indians, unions including the Laborers International Union of North America Local 238, and the Denny Heck for Congress campaign. Other notable contributors include former Spokane Mayor John Powers.
McMorris Rodgers’ seat in Congress targeted by national Democrats emboldened by recent electoral wins
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee added Washington’s 5th district to its list of 91 contests nationwide it believes are winnable to take back control of the House of Representatives. The designation doesn’t necessarily mean national Democrats will start spending money in the district, but signifies renewed interest from the left in a seat that has been occupied by a Republican since 1994.