Like other states on Tuesday, the action will be at the congressional district level in Washington. Without further ado:
In the 1st District which includes some northern counties near the Canadian border and one-third of King County, Democrat Suzan DelBene would appear vulnerable as Cook rates this district only +4 for the Democrats. A Republican last held this district in 1999. Still, it could be put into play. The four GOP hopefuls trying to do so are Pedro Celis, Ed Moats, John Orlinski, and Robert Sutherland. The front runner is clearly Celis and he is the most likely to win the primary. Sutherland, however, is clearly the most conservative. But we are talking about a district that is not particularly conservative per se. Perhaps the one area that most separates the candidates is abortion. Sutherland and Moats are staunchly pro-life while Celis recognizes Roe vs. Wade. The question becomes whether the GOP wants to possibly win this seat or do they want to make a stand on principle here? I am invoking the Buckley rule and endorsing Pedro Celis.
In the 3rd District, Republican incumbent Jaime Herrera-Beutler first won in 2010 and then was reelected in 2012. Running from Olympia to the Oregon border in the southwest corner of the state, Cook rates this district nominally Republican at +2. Beutler fought off a Tea Party challenger in 2010. Simply, this area of Washington is not necessarily conducive to that brand of conservatism. Regardless, her record in Congress has won her negative ratings from liberal groups and positive ratings from conservative ones. Her challenger is not new to 3rd district politics having lost as the GOP candidate in 2008. All things considered, there is really nothing to dislike about the record and prospects of Jaime Herrera-Beutler and the endorsement goes to her.
Republican incumbent Doc Hastings is stepping down in the 4th district which takes in a large portion of central Washington and is the most Republican (+13 Cook) of the state's districts. Eight Republicans are scrambling for the nod here. The most humorous is Kevin Midbust who promises "to do nothing if elected." Literally.... Gordon Pross is a frequent candidate and loser. Perhaps the best known is former NFL player and 2010 US Senate candidate loser Clint Didier. The two "front runners" would be Didier and George Cicotte. In reality, this represents the best chance for Didier in Washington politics and given his stances on the issues, Clint Didier comes out ahead although his position on education has yet to be fleshed out. Still, given Cicotte's wavering on Obamacare, that Didier disadvantage disappears. Thus, the endorsement goes to Clint Didier.
The western-based 5th District is represented by Republican incumbent Cathy McMorris-Rodgers who is seen by some as a rising star in the party. This district is reliably Republican although it did elect Tom Foley at one time. She is opposed in the primary by Tom Horne who has gone very hard after McMorris-Rodgers in his campaigning. However, when all is said and done, she is more conservative than Horne despite the snarky attacks. Therefore, this writer endorses the reelection of Cathy McMorris-Rodgers.
Finally, the only other GOP primary will occur in the uber-liberal 7th District where the winner will lose to Democratic incumbent Jim McDermott. This is the district that gives us latte-sipping Leftists. McDermott certainly fits the bill. The ultra-Leftist publication "In These Times" suggested McDermott for the spot of Secretary of State in the wake of Obama's 2008 election. He has been tied to numerous Leftist causes and organizations including the Democratic Socialists of America. He has sponsored government-run single payer health bills and "minimal sustainable living wage" legislation as well as making "fact finding" trips to Cuba (paid for by the Leftist Center for Democracy in the Americas organization).
But enough about the closet Communist, Jim McDermott. The fact is he will be reelected in November by the chai tea and frappucino electorate that is Seattle and its environs. Unfortunately, the GOP contenders- anti-immigration activist Craig Keller, and Scott Sutherland who ran in 2010 and 2012 are not exactly deeply conservative alternatives who could make the race interesting (from an entertainment standpoint) in November. I would like to support Sutherland since he is the more conservative of the two. But, being that McDermott is such a fan of Islam and Keller is an anti-immigration activist, let's just make this fun for the sake of having fun. Have Keller make some outrageous comments, but have the GOP disavow them. There is nothing to lose here; let's have some fun: support Craig Keller.