Republican Dino Rossi easily advanced in the race for the 8th District, one of the most competitive congressional race in Washington state. Democrats Kim Schrier and Jason Rittereiser remain in a close race for the second position after the third round of results were released Thursday.
1,205 votes separate Schrier, who held the second position Thursday, and Rittereiser.
The seat has been held for the past 14 years by Republican Congressman Dave Reichert who announced his retirement last year.
Rossi is a name that goes back decades in Washington politics, first when he was elected to the State Senate in 1996. However, he’s probably best known for his statewide races, including the gubernatorial bid against Christine Gregoire in 2004 that made national headlines as one of the closest elections in U.S. history. It ended with a trial, two recounts, and loss for Rossi by just 129 votes.
He would go on to challenge Gregoire again in 2008, then-Senator Patty Murray in 2010, falling short statewide but winning the region that makes up the 8th Congressional District.
Pediatrician Kim Schrier of Issaquah entered the race last August in the months following the Republican Congress’ effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
Schrier raised the most money of the Democratic frontrunners – more than $1.6 million ahead of the primary, attracting the support of high-profile groups such as EMILY’S List, a political action committee that supports female Democratic candidates.
Rossi has raised more than $3 million so far, attracting big money support from conservative-leaning political action committees, including Club For Growth.
Attorney Jason Rittereiser was one of the early entrants into the race last July. At just 34, he’s also the youngest in the race – a millennial who grew up in Ellensburg but moved to Western Washington for school and work. He served as a prosecutor for King County, then in private practice as an employment attorney.
Dr. Shannon Hader, who grew up in Auburn and graduated from Auburn High School, announced her candidacy this past January. Prior to entering the race, she worked for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention where she served as the director of the Division of Global HIV and TB.
During her career at the CDC, Hader worked under four different presidential administrations, both Democratic and Republican, including the first nine months under President Donald Trump.
National political pundits have labeled the open seat race a toss-up. While the 8th District has elected a Republican member of Congress since its inception, it’s also voted for Democratic presidents in years past. It’s one of 23 districts nationwide that voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 but also re-elected a Republican, making it a prime target for Democrats looking to take back control of the U.S. House.
The district is not only politically diverse across viewpoints but spans 7,000 square miles and crosses the Cascades, encompassing portions of more conservative counties including Chelan and Kittitas, as well as increasingly Democratic suburbs of eastern King County.