Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Say Hey! The Dems Have Given Up on the WA 5th Congressional District!

A story in Sunday's Spokesman-Review reported how Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers has raised over a million dollars so far, while her Democratic opponent, Spokane psychologist Mark Mays, has raised only $36,085. McMorris Rodgers has raised more than that on just the South Hill of Spokane. It's embarrassing.

$36,085? You can't run for the state House of Representatives on that kind of money, much less the U.S. Congress. McMorris Rodgers last opponent, rancher Peter Goldmark, who is now running for Commissioner of State Lands, is a darling of the netroots. He raised nearly $2.5 million in 2006, most of it from out of the district. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee designated the 2006 5th District election as one of their "Red To Blue" races. However, even though Goldmark outspent McMorris Rodgers by some $500,000, he got throughly spanked by 13%.

Now, apparently, the Dems have given up on Washington's 5th Congressional District. Rep. McMorris Rodgers, having solidly defended her seat after her freshman term, is only facing sacrificial lamb Mays this time around. It is an indication of how 5th District Dems view Mays' chances that the biggest contribution, $5,000 (14% of total contributions), has come from the state party.

In what promises to be a banner year for Democrats, with candidates nationwide grabbing Obama's coattails and the party with flush with lots of cash to throw around in once unassailble Republican districts (e.g. the Idaho 1st, with incumbent Rep. Bill Sali facing Walt Minnick) it is inexplicable why the Dems in Eastern Washington are not making a stronger run in 2008. Willie Mays has a better shot of getting elected to Congress than Mark Mays. I won't even get started on the weak Democratic candidates fielded in the 9th Legislative District and Whitman County.

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