Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

WA-03: Baird not running for re-election

Congressman Brian Baird (D-Vancouver) announced earlier today that he won't seek re-election for his seventh term in the House of Representatives, citing family reasons. Below is the text of his statement:
Congressman Brian Baird Announces He Will Not Seek Reelection

Washington, D.C.--Serving our country and representing the people of Southwest Washington in Congress has been the highest honor and greatest responsibility of my life.Since the time I first announced I would seek election in November of 1995, I have done my utmost to work hard, tell the truth, listen, and do what was right for our nation.I am proud of the record of achievements for our district and I am incredibly grateful to the voters who have entrusted me with this responsibility. I am also appreciative to my staff, all of the friends, supporters and volunteers who have helped along the way.

The time has now come to pursue other options, other ways of serving.Hence, I am announcing today that I do not intend to seek reelection to Congress in 2010.This is not an easy decision to be sure, but I believe it is the right decision at the right time.

I look forward to serving the remainder of this Congress with the same level of commitment I have always given the people of this district.There is much yet to be done for our region and our nation and I fully intend to be part of that work during the remainder of my term in office and in new ways when that term has ended.

Again, I want to thank my family, friends, supporters, staff and most importantly the people of Southwest Washington.
Baird has previously drawn the ire of progressives, including NPI, for his support for President Bush's escalation of the war in Iraq and for his recent failure to vote to support health care reform. We believe Congressman Baird's retirement presents an opportunity to elect a more progressive candidate to the congressional seat.

Despite two Republicans having already entered the race: Jon Russell, a Washougal City councilman, and David Castillo, a former staffer for the Washington state House Republican Caucus, the leading Republican to emerge in the race is the state Representative Jaime Herrera of the 18th Legislative District. Herrera is a former staffer to Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers and former legislative intern to state Senator Joe Zarelli.

On the Democratic side, Rep. Deb Wallace, Rep. Brendan Williams (who isn't running for reelection) and Sen. Craig Pridemore are all said to be in the mix.


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