by N in Seattle, 10/17/2012, 2:03 PM

In case HA readers have forgotten, I’d like to remind you that Washingtonians will elect 10 people to represent them in the House of Representatives in the upcoming 113th Congress. That, of course, is an increase of one over the nine Representatives we’ve sent to DC for the last 20 years.

Incumbents are running for reelection in seven of the redrawn Congressional Districts, and every one of them is all but certain to win. Therefore, I offer congratulations-in-advance to Rick Larsen, Jaime Herrera Beutler, Doc Hastings, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Jim McDermott, Dave Reichert, and Adam Smith … the Representatives in, respectively, the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 7th, 8th, and 9th Districts. That’s three Democrats (Larsen, McDermott, Smith) and four Republicans (Herrera Bueutler, Hastings, McMorris Rodgers, Reichert).

But what of the two open, and one brand-new, seats?

It was widely acknowledged that the principal goal of the Democratic members of the Redistricting Commission was to center the new 10th CD on Olympia, and to anoint Denny Heck, who lost in 2010 to Herrera Beutler in the then-open WA-03, as their candidate. He faces underfunded Republican Dick Muri, who unsuccessful challenged Adam Smith in the old WA-09 two years ago. Well, it looks like Tim Ceis and Dwight Pelz got their wish, as the Cook Political Report rates WA-10 Solid D and DailyKos Elections calls it Likely D. The two organization agree that WA-01, where Suzan DelBene faces teahadist John Koster, and where most of Washington’s Congressional-race attention has been concentrated, Leans D. Boy, I hope they’re right.

The third open seat came as something of a shocker. Norm Dicks surprised many Washingtonians when he announced his retirement after 18 terms representing the 6th District. Conventional wisdom suggested that WA-06 had remained in Democratic hands largely because of Dicks’s seniority (ranking Democrat on the Appropriations Committee) and close ties to the strong Navy presence on Hood Canal and Puget Sound. The sprawling, largely rural WA-06 doesn’t fit the usual mold of Democratic CDs.

Well, conventional wisdom appears to have been wrong. Even though a Republican self-funding Weyerhaeuser relative is on the ballot, both Cook (Likely D) and dKos put the District strongly in the Democratic column. In fact, on Monday DailyKos Elections upgraded WA-06 from Likely D to Safe D.

The principal reason behind this happy outcome is the superb Democrat running in the 6th District, Derek Kilmer. I’ve known Derek ever since I arrived in Washington in 2001; at that time he and his wife Jen were colleagues of my sister in the 36th District Democrats. We in Seattle were disappointed when they relocated to Gig Harbor (he’s Vice President of the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County), but it was clearly the right thing for them. I’m thrilled that the people of WA-06 see the same positive qualities in Derek that I recognized.

When Derek won his first political race (State Rep from the 26th LD in 2004), I began thinking that he could be a great candidate to replace Norm Dicks when the old warhorse decided to hang ‘em up. I didn’t expect it to come quite so soon, but it seems like I was onto something.

So Derek will, in all likelihood, slide into Norm’s position as a Democratic Congressman. That leaves the overall status of Washington’s delegation in DC in the same place it was when the Redistricting Commission finished its work — five Democratic CDs, four Republican CDs, and one up for grabs. If, as most pundits predict, DelBene keeps the odious Koster away from DC, we’ll be 6-4 Democratic. Not nearly what I’d like it to be, but I believe that would be an accurate description of our state.

[Cross-posted from Peace Tree Farm]

19 Responses to “And in the 113th Congress…”

1. Serial conservative spews:

Whatever the Dems accomplish, it’s looking like they’ll accomplish without the coattails of The One this time around:

Jay Cost
I’ve never seen anybody bury a lede like Major Garrett here. Real story is Team O quietly walking back FL NC VA CO.

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2. MikeBoyScout spews:

Suzan DelBene has a race that is as tough as predicted, but she’s going to pull through. And the reason why is the opposite (surprise!) of Kap’n Kornflake’s analysis.
Obama has coat tails in Snohomish and King counties and those margins will push her past Odious.

3. Michael spews:

01 looks like the civil war, it’s even The North V. The South.

The sprawling, largely rural WA-06 doesn’t fit the usual mold of Democratic CDs.

Funny thing, the guy who’s really interested in demographics and the urban/suburban/rural split has never studied it in his own congressional district….

The cites are actually smaller than I thought: Bremerton’s at about 40K, Aberdeen’s 17K, Port Angeles is about 20K people. I’m not sure of the numbers for the outlying areas, but a lot of that’s private timberland, national forest, and Olympic National Park, which would have a population of nearly zero.

Kilmer’s got as close to a lock on this election as one can have on these things.

4. proud leftist spews:

Bainbridge Island was pulled from the First and put in the Sixth. BI has about 24,000 people and generally votes about 2-1 D. So, that certainly aids D chances in the 6th. I agree with N in Seattle about Derek Kilmer. The D bench in this state is so strong. The R bench? Ah, not so much. I do wish more of Seattle had been apportioned to other districts in the redistricting process. This state should be no less than 6-4, and probably should be 7-3 sure D with regard to congressional representation.

5. Michael spews:

They swapped Shelton for BI in the 6th. I’m not sure how the numbers work, but I would have rather seen Tacoma leave the 6th and make it an all west-side district.

6. Roger Rabbit spews:

If the census and redistricting turn Washington from a 5D-4R state into a 6D-4R state, I certainly can live with that. Especially if we took an R seat away from another state.

7. Roger Rabbit spews:

@1 Are you up for putting some money on the Romney-Obama outcome? I’ll give you even odds.

8. Mrs. Rabbit spews:

@7 That’s quite an arbitrage, you crafty old curmudgeon!

9. Roger Rabbit spews:

@8 I don’t make my bones in the stock market by treating the other guy fairly. Being married to me, you ought to know that about me by now.

10. Liberal Scientist is a Dirty Fucking Socialist Hippie spews:


Being married to me, you ought to know that about me by now.

Ever since I first noted Mrs. Rabbit posting, I’ve though, “That poor woman.”


11. greg spews:

@ Roger Rabbit here is a sure thing. Hawaii voters will be sending Tulsi Gabbard to Washington.

13. Serial Conservative spews:

@ 7

I’m already putting money up on it. If I wanted to bet more, wouldn’t I go to Intrade rather than take even money from you?

14. Serial Conservative spews:

From Greg’s link @ 12:

“We’re still going to run in every state like we’re five points behind,” Psaki said.

And by election time, they probably will be.

15. N in Seattle spews:


I’ll be happy to take Obama + 5% in every state. Most (hypothetical) electoral votes wins. Hell, I’d even go for Obama + 3%.

16. greg spews:

@14 Only 17% of the viewing public watched the second debate on Rupert’s Fraud News. It seems the great majority of Americans know what bullshit smells like. Did you lose your sense of smell long ago Serial Conservative? Why do you come here selling a product that stinks?

17. kim jong chillin spews:


What was the percentage who watched it pmsnbc?

Any network that gives that poverty pimp race baiting piece of shit al sharpton his own show pretty much loses any cred it may have had.

I wonder how tawana brawley is doing now….lol

18. Roger Rabbit spews:

@11 Yeah, I’m willing to arbitrage that one, too, if I can find a sucker to bet against Tulsi at even odds. I’m happy to perform the socially useful function of transferring Republican money to Democratic paws to minimize the damage they can do with it.

19. Roger Rabbit spews:

@13 If you’re so damned confident, why won’t you give me even money? Seems to me if you insist on betting at Intrade’s odds, you don’t have much faith in your candidate’s prospects.