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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Lisa Brown

A candidate for U.S. Representative, Congressional District 5 in the 2018 Washington General Election, Nov. 6

Party: Democratic

Age: 67

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.

Related Coverage

Analysis: ‘Dark money’ claims in McMorris Rodgers, Brown debate oversimplify complicated campaign finance laws

The candidates both claimed the other was benefitting from campaign contributions that aren’t traceable. The issue has become heated in a race that has attracted outside attention from leadership groups and other nonprofits that view Eastern Washington as a battleground election in the contest for control of the House of Representatives.

Mike Pence stump speech for Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers tentatively scheduled for early October in Spokane

The list of top Republicans coming to Spokane to stump for Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers this fall will include Vice President Mike Pence.

Lisa Brown, Cathy McMorris Rodgers face off in first public debate

In their first public debate, U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Democratic challenger Lisa Brown lobbed criticism on numerous issues, including health care, tax reform, gun control, the farm bill, the special counsel investigation and “dark money” in campaigns. The debate, hosted by The Spokesman-Review and KHQ, drew more than 500 people to the Bing Crosby Theater on Wednesday evening.

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Lisa Brown set for town hall event in downtown Spokane on Wednesday

The event, co-hosted by The Spokesman-Review’s Northwest Passages forum and KHQ-TV, will air live on local broadcast television from the Bing Crosby Theater in downtown Spokane. It’ll be the first time McMorris Rodgers and Brown share a stage in pursuit of Eastern Washington’s seat in Congress this November.

Lisa Brown, Cathy McMorris Rodgers disagree on Social Security

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, challenger Lisa Brown differ on what to do about the Social Security system.

Lisa Brown: Americans need student debt relief

What does it say about our nation’s priorities when we make it easier to refinance a car loan than a student loan? Hard to believe, but it is true. I was the first in my family to attend college, and I needed grants and loans to get through undergraduate and graduate school. It wasn’t easy back then, but it’s harder now, because federal Pell Grants have not kept pace with the cost of college, forcing students to take on more debt as they pursue their dreams. I witnessed this firsthand as chancellor of WSU Spokane, and teaching at Eastern and Gonzaga.

Sue Lani Madsen: Stealing campaign signs

Sign wars have been fierce in the 5th Congressional District campaign. Both sides are suspicious of an organized effort behind the thefts.

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Lisa Brown lay out health care philosophies at Spokane conference

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers said the role of the federal government is to increase choice and competitiveness in the U.S. health care market, while Democrat Lisa Brown urged a push toward universal coverage in remarks Thursday afternoon to assembled industry heads and education experts in downtown Spokane. The Republican congresswoman appeared via teleconference at the sixth gathering of The State of Reform, a conference that has brought together local lawmakers, health insurance executives and care providers to address critical changes in the industry. Addressing the conference on camera from Washington, D.C., McMorris Rodgers said Republicans had not adequately provided their “full vision” for health care reform in the lead-up to the unsuccessful reform bill last year that would have made sweeping changes to the Affordable Care Act.

Ad watch: Ephrata group targets McMorris Rodgers, Newhouse with questionable claims about taxes, veterans

A political action committee from Ephrata, targeting Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Dan Newhouse, is making some overly simplistic claims about legislation the Republican members of Congress have supported regarding federal spending on veterans and taxes. The ads have yet to show up on traditional broadcast networks, but they’re being shared on social media by political groups opposed to the incumbents in this year’s midterms.

Campus vote shaping up as battleground in race between Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Lisa Brown

Younger votes tend to sway Democratic, but they’re also the demographic less likely to fill out a ballot by Election Day. Can Lisa Brown and her supporters find enough votes on the region’s campuses to make up a primary deficit? A computer analysis of past elections show that’s a long shot, but it hasn’t stopped young Democrats from get-out-the-vote efforts, and conservatives are making similar pushes at the region’s campuses.