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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Two Democrats seeking McMorris Rodgers’ post

Last week, Democrats had no one to run against Republican Cathy McMorris Rodgers for Eastern Washington’s congressional seat. Monday they had two – a novice from Spokane Valley and a perennial office-seeker from Spokane.

Clyde Cordero, an advertising salesman for a Web publication, announced Monday that he would run for the seat that has been reliably Republican since the GOP knocked off the sitting speaker of the House in 1994. Cordero is originally from California, and moved to the Valley about 4 1/2 years ago with his wife and two children to be close to her family.

About the same time his announcement was being e-mailed out, Barbara Lampert, a former nursing aide, was filing her paperwork in Olympia. Lampert has run unsuccessfully for offices ranging from city council to U.S. Senate every year since 1996; she ran for Congress two years ago.

Both stress the importance of giving voters a choice in the Aug. 17 primary and the Nov. 2 general election.

Cordero, 50, said he believes 2010 may be a year when voters are looking for a “regular person to step forward.” He said he disagrees with McMorris Rodgers’ opposition to the health care reforms and economic stimulus packages the Democrat-controlled Congress passed.

“My viewpoint is, government can play a positive role,” he said.

He personally supported a public option for federal health care reform but is satisfied with the final law that passed without it. The stimulus package was needed to pull the economy “out of the ditch,” he added, but he’s unsure he would support another round of stimulus spending because he also believes the federal government needs to bring the deficit down and balance the budget. That would mean either significant cuts to programs or higher taxes – or both – but Cordero said he doesn’t have a specific plan except to allow the tax cuts supported by President George W. Bush to expire.

Cordero spent four years in the Army and was an intelligence analyst for the 101st Airborne during Operation Desert Storm. He said he disagrees with the decision to invade Iraq in 2003, but believes the United States has a good plan now to get out of that country. He supported the decision to go into Afghanistan, and the current strategy for that war.

Lampert, 64, has long been active in party politics and local causes. She said she got interested after local Democrats said they didn’t have anyone to run against McMorris Rodgers. It’s a midterm election and voters may be in the mood to “mix it up,” she said.

McMorris Rodgers, who was a state legislator before winning the 5th District House seat in 2004, has never polled less than 56 percent in a congressional election; she won her 2008 race by nearly 2-to-1. She’s a member of the House Republican leadership team and a frequent critic of President Barack Obama’s fiscal and tax policies.

McMorris Rodgers faces a challenge from the right. Randall Yearout, a heavy equipment operator who gives lectures on the U.S. Constitution, announced plans to run as a member of the Constitution Party.

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