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Why Washington State’s 10th congressional district matters

Why Washington State’s 10th congressional district matters

By Adam A Isackson

Washington State was the only reliably blue state to gain a congressional district as a result of the 2010 United States census. In most states as blue as Washington that would mean an easy pickup for Democrats. The problem however for Democrats is that Washington State has a rather strict and bipartisan redistricting process. Both parties are responsible for appointing 2 voting members and at least 3 of them must come to an agreement. The result is a new 10th that leans a little left, but can be won by either party.

At first glance the district certainly appears like a good bet for Democrats. The District includes the vast majority of Thurston County, part of southern Mason County and a large portion of Pierce County. In terms of land mass it’s the 3rd smallest district in the state and includes large urban and suburban populations.

While the Thurston County portion of the district is somewhat liberal the same however can’t be said for the rest of the 10th. In 2010, more than half of the votes cast in precincts now encompassing the new 10th district were cast in Pierce County. Dino Rossi, the 2010 Republican senate nominee, beat Senator Murray in those precincts despite losing statewide by more than 4.5 percentage points.

The biggest reason for Republican success in Pierce County very well may be its large veteran population. By some estimates Pierce County has one of the largest retired military populations in the country. Joint base Lewis-McChord, located in Pierce County, is the largest military base on the west coast.

So far two Republicans, both members of the Pierce County council, have announced that they’re running inthe 10th district. Councilman Dick Muri, who was the Republican nominee for congress in the 9th congressional district in 2010, has served as a county councilman since 2003. He’s also a retired Air force lieutenant colonel and former school board member. Muri lost his bid to unseat Congressman Adam Smith by a 55 to 45 margin in 2010. The old 9th district politically is very similar to the new 10th. Rossi’s senate numbers in both the old 9th and areas encompassing the new 10th were almost identical.

The other Republican candidate to announce is Councilman Stan Flemming. He has a broad background which should make him a strong candidate for the seat. Flemming is a retired brigadier general, medical doctor, business owner, a former professor and university president, and humanitarian. He has served as an elected state representative, mayor, and city councilman in addition to his current position as county councilman. He was also one of two finalists for United States surgeon general.

The only serious candidate on the Democrat side is former State Representative Denny Heck. Heck served as majority leader in the Washington State house of representatives, was chief of staff for Governor Booth Gardner and was the founder and CEO of TVW. Heck ran for congress in 2010 in Washington’s 3rd district for an open seat against State Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler. Heck lost 53 to 47. Herrera Beutler is currently the youngest United States congresswoman.

If Flemming wins the Republican primary this is a race that is very much in play. Flemming’s extensive background, particularly his impressive military record, should play well in the district. Heck has no military experience. As a congressman Flemming would be an effective advocate for conservative reforms, particularly when it comes to health care, and would be a strong advocate for military families. It’s also worth mentioning that he’s of Native American and East Indian descent and if elected he would be the highest ranking retired military officer in congress.

About the author

Adam Isackson currently resides in Tacoma, Washington where he has managed, consulted, worked on and volunteered for countless campaigns since the 90’s. If you have any questions or you can contact the author @adam_isackson@yahoo.com or by calling 253-678-1707. You can read more of his articles @redstate.com/aisackson

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