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

Valley Republican files to challenge McMorris Rodgers

Stephen Major, show in this 2018 photo pointing to areas where he has led Bigfoot expeditions, is challenging Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers for her seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. (Journal of Business)

A Spokane Valley Republican is challenging Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, contending she was wrong to allow the national debt to grow by supporting relief packages to help people and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re printing money we don’t have,” said Stephen Major, a former mortgage broker who now operates Extreme Expeditions Northwest. “We’ve overblown this COVID thing to great degree, and the states are overreacting.”

Major, the latest candidate to enter the race for Eastern Washington’s 5th Congressional District, said Tuesday he has supported McMorris Rodgers in the past but believes the eight-term incumbent has stayed too long in Congress and strayed too far from the GOP platform on issues like deficit spending and trade.

A long-time GOP precinct officer, Major said he was an early supporter of Donald Trump and a Trump delegate to the 2016 Spokane County Republican Convention. He said McMorris Rodgers was slow to support the eventual nominee in 2016.

“It’s time for Cathy to bow out and move on,” he said.

Originally from Kellogg, Idaho, Major was an Army infantry soldier from 1983-86. A 55-year-old disabled vet, he said he has been active in Republican politics after leaving the military. He has worked on campaigns but never run for an office other than precinct officer. He is semiretired from a job as a bank and mortgage broker and now works at what he calls his “hobby business,” Extreme Expeditions Northwest, which has been involved in expeditions to search for Bigfoot.

A video of the company’s search for the Port Chatham, Alaska, “Hairy Man,” was featured on the Travel Channel, and he just returned from a five-day expedition in Pend Oreille County, where he believes they found some traces of Bigfoot.

“I’m not making that a cornerstone of my campaign, though,” he added.

McMorris Rodgers filed for reelection Monday, and Democrat Chris Armitage, a former base defense operations controller at Fairchild Air Force Base who announced his campaign last December, filed Tuesday. Former County Treasurer Rob Chase, another Republican, also has announced plans to run.

Here are the candidates who have filed for spots on Spokane-area ballots:

    U.S. Congress District 5: Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Stephen Major, Republican; Chris Armitage, Democrat.

    County Commissioner District 1: Josh Kerns, Republican.

    District 3 Senate: Andy Billig, Democrat; Dave Lucas, Republican.

    District 3 House Pos. 1: Marcus Riccelli, Democrat.

    District 3 House Pos. 2: Timm Ormsby, Democrat.

    District 4 Senate: Mike Padden, Republican.

    District 4 House Pos. 1: Leonard Christian, Republican; Lori Feagan, Democrat.

    District 4 House Pos. 2: Mike Conrad, Republican.

    District 6 House Pos. 1: Mike Volz, Republican.

    District 6 House Pos. 2: Jenny Graham, Republican; Tom McGarry, Democrat.

    District 9 Senate: Mark Schoesler, Republican.

    District 9 House Pos. 1: Mary Dye, Republican.

    District 9 House Pos. 2: Joe Schmick, Republican.

    Court of Appeals, Pos. 2 Tracy Staab, Marshall Casey.

    Superior Court Pos. 1: Annette Plese.

    Superior Court Pos. 2: Charnelle Bjelkengren.

    Superior Court Pos. 3: Ray Clary.

    Superior Court Pos. 4: Julie McKay.

    Superior Court Pos. 5: Michael Price.

    Superior Court Pos. 6: Tony Hazel.

    Superior Court Pos. 7: Maryann Moreno.

    Superior Court Pos. 8: Harold Clarke.

    Superior Court Pos. 9: John Cooney.

    Superior Court Pos. 10: Michelle Szambelan.

    Superior Court Pos. 11: Timothy Fennessy.

    Superior Court Pos. 12: Rachelle Anderson.