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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

No endorsement from Medical Lake Mayor Terri Cooper after she suspends congressional campaign

Medical Lake Mayor Terri Cooper announces her bid for Congress March 2 at the Spokane County Republican Convention.  (Emry Dinman/The Spokesman-Review )

Medical Lake Mayor Terri Cooper has suspended her campaign to represent Eastern Washington in Congress, she acknowledged in a news release after not filing to run before the Friday deadline.

“My priority has always been, and still remains, my local community of Medical Lake,” she stated in the news release. “In light of all the unfinished business and the aftermath of the Gray Road and Elk fires, I can’t in good conscience leave my post as Mayor and the continued fire recovery efforts of the Spokane region.”

She has no plans to endorse any other candidates at this time, she wrote in a Monday text.

Cooper was a relatively late arrival to the crowded field that has six Republicans and five Democrats who filed last week to run for a seat being vacated by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who announced in February she would not run for re-election.

Though she received a relatively high rating from the Spokane County Republican Party in April, ranked third among the many Republicans considering a run, she struggled in fundraising compared to the far larger hauls of Spokane County Treasurer Michael Baumgartner and state Rep. Jacquelin Maycumber, R-Republic.

Cooper, a personal friend of McMorris Rodgers, has served as mayor of the city of Medical Lake since 2021, and her profile was elevated due to her leadership in the face of a devastating fire last summer that destroyed dozens of homes in her city. That experience convinced her that she had the capacity to lead and brought to light shortcomings in federal and state policy that stymied recovery efforts, she said when she announced her run in early March.

“It’s time that the politicians stop and listen to all the voices of the people of the 5th District, not just the elites and extremes,” she concluded in her news release. “I’m convinced the majority of people don’t want extremes; they want solid policies created by honest people.”