Bellevue attorney Randy Gordon has dropped his bid for the Democratic nomination to challenge first-term Rep. Dave Reichert in WA’s 8th Congressional District. This leaves Darcy Burner as the only declared challenger.
While Gordon struggled to raise money, by all accounts Burner has exceeded targets set for her by the DCCC, Emily’s List and other potential big donors, and surely, her fundraising advantage must have played into Gordon’s decision to withdraw. In prior conversations, Gordon had assured me that should he drop out, he would actively support the eventual nominee, and thus I expect he will eventually endorse Burner.
In a letter to supporters Gordon said that he would “consider other elective positions.” I was unable to get ahold of Gordon for comment, but when I asked Progressive Majority’s Dean Nielsen for his take on the prospect, he was quick to respond:
“Randy’s a great guy, a great candidate and should really consider running for the state house.”
Run for the state house? Hmm. I believe Gordon lives in the 41st Legislative District, home of my favorite Republican, state Rep. Fred Jarrett. Jarrett is pro-choice, pro-environment and a just plain reasonable, thoughtful guy — I like to think of him as a Democrat with an “R” next to his name. Indeed, House Speaker Frank Chopp has been trying to get him to switch parties for years, but Jarrett refuses to leave a GOP that left his fellow suburban moderates long ago. No doubt Gordon would garner enthusiastic support from Chopp and Labor, both eager to put another progressive in the Democratic caucus… and it certainly would be fun watching the righties being forced to grit their teeth and spend scarce resources defending a moderate R.
Yeah, it’s kinda too bad to see one of the good Republicans targeted, but as was recently explained to me by somebody wiser in the ways of electoral politics, it’s always the moderates who are first to go in any legislative body. Why? Well, the reason they are moderate is that they usually represent districts where the other side holds an electoral advantage… a scenario certainly true of Jarrett and the 41st LD, which has grown increasingly blue over the past decade.
Personally, I like Jarrett. But I also like Gordon, and think he’d be an excellent campaigner and a great addition to the Democratic caucus. The 41st is a Democratic district, and it’s time we have a Democrat in Jarrett’s seat.
So, if Jarrett wants to avoid the toughest reelection fight of his career, it’s time to give in to reality and switch parties… and with the new legislative session about to begin, now is the time to do it.