Breaking: Pridemore will run in WA-03

State Sen. Craig Pridemore, D-Vancouver(49th LD,) will announce his candidacy for Congress in WA-03 within the next 24 hours, sources close to Pridemore tell me.

The other announced Democrat is state Rep. Deb Wallace, D-Vancouver (17th LD,) who entered the race last week, after the decision by incumbent U.S. Rep. Brian Baird, D-Wash., not to seek another term.

Announced Republicans include former Bush administration official David Castillo, Washougal city council member Jon Russell, and “yelling town hall man” David Hedrick. Also reportedly interested is state Rep. Jaime Herrera, R-Ridgefield (18th LD.)

The third district stretches from its population center in Clark County at its south end (just across the river from Portland, Or.,) to parts of Thurston County, home of the state capital Olympia. Longview-Kelso in Cowlitz County and Centralia-Chehalis in Lewis County are less populated but still significant population areas.

And for the last time, the district is not as conservative as people from Seattle and the Clark County Republican Party seem to think. It’s a flat-out swing district, and Clark County’s media landscape is dominated by Portland television stations, who generally come across the river only for things that are bleeding or snowing.

There’s a lot riding on who puts together the best campaigns and articulates the rising discontent regular people have towards our government and the elite institutions that very nearly destroyed everything.

So there’s no reason not to state the obvious: I will be an early and enthusiastic supporter of Pridemore. He’s a smart, tough, seasoned politician who still knows who he is and why he is in public service. And I genuinely mean no disrespect for Wallace with that statement; she is a fine Democrat in her own right and will deservedly have many supporters. But Craig’s my guy, just so I’m clear about that.

I suppose this will set off a predictable flurry of talk about who can win, and that discussion has happened over the last few days in phone calls and emails all over the district anyhow. Personally I believe either of them could win a general election, so I’m not going to cast any stones in that regard.

Pridemore has won both county wide and in his admittedly more liberal legislative district. Nothing wrong with that, and if Pridemore is willing to put his neck out there and fight for what he believes in, then more power to him. He’s also very, very bright, articulate and good with numbers, so anyone facing him in a general election will need to be on their game. Don’t let anyone from down here play games with you about his chances, he’s the real deal.


  1. 2

    C County spews:

    In Clark, Pridemore has the edge over Wallace. Wallace plays the corporate talk too much, and the economy in Southwest Washington will play into this. Don’t forget that Wallace’s employer has been the EDC, a low performer in the state’s most unemployed region.

    Pridemore, on the other hand, has proven himself thoughtful, articulate, intelligent and an individual with vision. His appeal travels well.

  2. 3

    Just a Guy spews:

    “And for the last time, the district is not as conservative as people from Seattle and the Clark County Republican Party seem to think.”

    Ostrich, meet Jon. Jon, meet Ostrich.

    By next year the democrat brand will be so terribly damaged that the GOP could run a spider monkey and win in the 3rd.

    Any democrat (which means any democrat running) that supports replacing the I-5 bridge and loot rail will lose. Period. Imposing a $1300 per year toll on 65,000 voters who commute every day?

    “I fear that we have balanced the budget on the backs of the poor and the powerless,” Senator Pridemore said, before voting “yes” on that same budget (2005 budget vote.)

    That you would support someone like this doesn’t surprise me. That you’d think he stands a chance? Stunning.

  3. 4

    ArtFart spews:

    Debates between either Wallace or Pridemore and teabagger Hedrick would be….uh, interesting.

  4. 5

    40-year Voter spews:

    I grew up in Vancouver and remember paying tolls twice a day on the current Interstate Bridge, until the bonds were paid off. I’ve yet to hear anyone explain why that’s such a terrible way to fund a huge bridge like that.

    Sorry, Just a Guy, you’re just another whiner, wanting something without having to pay for it. Maybe you’ve been listening to Tim Eyman too much.

  5. 6

    LEFTisRIGHT spews:

    People also forget that Pridemore is a decorated Military Vetran. Pretty high honors for serving during peace time if I remember correctly.

    I think he will be a formidable candidate and could pit the Democratic “grassroots” against the Corporate democrats who support wallace.

    Go Craig!

  6. 7

    Just a Guy spews:

    Here, let me help you with that, Delusional 40 year old.

    The bridges you watched someone else pay tolls on were needed. The proposed replacement bridge is not. It’s a waste of $4 billion, and it will, without asking, impose a $1300 fee on 65,000 voters who will not be very happy about paying it.

    Anyone supporting such a project, particularly Pridemore, who just rammed another gerrymander CTRAN tax bill through to pay for loot rail operations, will be politically DOA anywhere north of 39th and east of 205.

    There. Glad I could help.

    Feel free to ask for any more clarification, and pick up a few more packages of Kool Aid on the way out.

  7. 8


    Again to emphasize the whole “swing vote” point, 03 also includes us folks up Olympia way, who, whatever our political viewpoint, have little /immediate/ interest in the new bridge question, and fall under the Seattle media market.

    You know, we really could use our own TV station down here..

  8. 9

    Michael spews:

    I paid $2.75 to go over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge today. There were plenty of people who argued that the second bridge wasn’t necessary and that the toll was some hideous beast.* I don’t know anyone in Gig Harbor that has a bad thing to say about the new bridge or the toll now.

    The new bridge over the Columbia is needed and a year after the new bridge opens everyone, except a handful of cranks, will have forgotten that there was ever a fuss about it.

    *I was anti-bridge. I was wrong on that one.

  9. 11

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @6 I didn’t know we had any peace while the Republicans were in power. When did that happen?

  10. 13

    Just a Guy spews:

    That some people, particularly those who don’t live here, tell us what’s “needed” when THEY don’t have to pay for it gets to the crux of the matter.

    A new bridge IS needed. But not to replace the current bridge, and not in the current bridge’s location. Because the current bridge works fine, and because the current bridge won’t solve any congestion problems or improve freight mobility; because the ONLY reason the democrats want to replace this bridge is to bring loot rail into Clark County (Besides paying off the unions that will build it, that is), because they won’t ASK us if we want to pay for this and because, like you, the bridge cheerleaders ain’t gonna have to pay for this massive waste of money… they’re toast.

    That’s why Tim Leavitt won. That’s why Tom Mielke won county wide, even though Clark County went with Obama by 6 percent or so.

    So, feel free to keep telling yourself “the bridge won’t make any difference.”

    It will. It has. And it will be the defining issue besides the wrecked democrat brand in 2010.

  11. 14

    Just a Guy spews:

    “Because the current bridge works fine, and because the current bridge won’t solve any congestion problems or improve freight mobility”

    SHOULD read

    “Because the current bridge works fine, and because a new bridge in the current location won’t solve any congestion problems or improve freight mobility”

  12. 15

    Frank Mazurkiewicz spews:

    For us Clark County residents there should be very little complaint about tolls on a new interstate bridge. We can always choose to cross the 205 bridge and enjoy the benefits coming for the construction (jobs & spin off spending) and new bridge crossing features which will spot light fun in Vancouver USA. Get real people, this is a win win for Clark County residents.

  13. 16


    Pridemore sounds good. What are his views on the environment. I have been fighting the pesticide use policies of Wa. state for 20 years. I am also
    terribly concerned about the obsession with so called invasive species that opens the door to more and more chemicals. You would normally think of these as state issues, however, Baird was a big proponent of spraying Monsanto’s Rodeo and other pesticides in Willapa Bay to kill spartina grass.I could go on about how corrupt that whole– lets get spartina– decision was, but Baird and Dicks used their position in the Congress to spend millions for chemicals. Baird was in the pocket of the commercial oysterfarmers who are lousy environmentalists and generally don’t pay their fair share of state taxes. I’m hoping that I can be enthusiastic about Pridemore who I’ve heard is a good environmentalist. First and foremost we need someone who understand that our National Security starts at home, with good education, healthcare, green energy policies, clean water and air, et al. It isn’t in Iraq, Afghanistan or heaven forbid Iran.