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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Jacquelin Maycumber enters race to represent Eastern Washington in Congress

Maycumber  (Courtesy)

The race for Washington’s 5th congressional district came into clearer focus Tuesday, as state Rep. Jacquelin Maycumber announced her candidacy for the seat that will be vacated by her fellow Republican, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers.

Maycumber, who lives in Republic and has represented the 7th legislative district since 2017, joins a field that includes GOP candidates Brian Dansel and John Guenther, who both entered the race last week. Three Democrats – Ann Marie Danimus, Carmela Conroy and Bernadine “Bernie” Bank – jumped into the race before McMorris Rodgers announced on Feb. 8 that she plans to retire after two decades representing Eastern Washington.

In an interview, Maycumber said she decided to run because she loves Eastern Washington and wants to “make sure our children have a better future than we did, and that we’re saving this nation.”

Some of her top priorities in Congress, Maycumber said, would be protecting the Lower Snake River dams from efforts to breach them and stopping the flow of fentanyl across the U.S.-Mexico border. She touted her experience as a state legislator, farmer and in law enforcement – she served as a sheriff’s deputy in Colorado from 2002 to 2004 – to distinguish herself from the other candidates.

Maycumber said she’s confident she can emerge from what is likely to be a crowded field in Washington’s top-two primary on Aug. 6. Candidates have until May 10 to enter the race, and several other potential contenders have yet to announce their intentions, including Spokane County Treasurer Michael Baumgartner, a Republican, and former Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward, who served in a nonpartisan office.

Hours after Maycumber’s announcement, Baumgartner wrote on X that he was still considering a run and named several people who would serve as campaign chairs if he decides to enter the race.

“We will make a decision next week,” Baumgartner wrote, followed by an American flag emoji.

Maycumber’s announcement provided further clarity about the race because of the advisory board she announced Tuesday, which includes Spokane County Board of Commissioners Chair Mary Kuney, a Republican who had previously left open the possibility of running.

Maycumber’s advisory board also includes Spokane County Sheriff John Nowels, and her announcement touted endorsements from the sheriffs of Ferry, Stevens and Pend Oreille counties, along with the Kalispel Tribe and several state and local elected officials.

The endorsements suggest she has consolidated support from the northern end of the congressional district that stretches between the borders of British Columbia and Oregon, but she said she has visited most of the district’s counties in her role as Republican floor leader in the State House.

Maycumber said she had spoken about her run with McMorris Rodgers, whom she called “a good friend and mentor,” but said they didn’t discuss an endorsement. The outgoing congresswoman, Maycumber said, “Gave a generation of women someone to look up to.”

Naming several other members of her 10-person advisory board, Maycumber said she understands the importance of surrounding herself with experts on the wide range of issues she would face as a federal lawmaker.

“Really making sure I’m hearing every voice, that’s so important,” she said.

“I’m just really excited to do this. I think this is really important for the future of Eastern Washington and the nation.”