Dino Rossi confirmed tonight that he once again becoming a candidate for public office, this time for the United States House of Representatives in 2018.
At the Washington State Republican Party’s annual dinner in Bellevue, Rossi made his long-rumored candidacy official, declaring that he will be vying to succeed Dave Reichert in Washington’s 8th District next year.
Rossi also relaunched his website (dinorossi.com) on NationBuilder, although at the moment it only contains a splash page and a signup form.
Rossi has run three statewide campaigns since the turn of the century, losing each one to his Democratic opponent. In 2004, he was the Republican Party’s nominee for governor in what became the closest gubernatorial race in state history. Democratic nominee Chris Gregoire prevailed after two recounts.
Rossi contested the outcome in Chelan County Superior Court, but his lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice in June of 2005, and he chose not to appeal.
In 2008, Rossi sought a rematch with Gregoire, but lost to Gregoire for a second time, with Gregoire enjoying a much more comfortable margin of victory.
While Gregoire was serving her second term as governor, Rossi was recruited by the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) to challenge Washington’s senior United States Senator Patty Murray during the 2010 midterms.
Republicans backed Rossi with boatloads of cash, but failed to knock out Murray, who won reelection to a fourth term.
Since losing to Patty Murray, Rossi has kept a lower profile, although he has twice returned to the Washington State Legislature as an appointed replacement for Republican senators Cheryl Pflug (who resigned in mid-2012 to take a new job) and Andy Hill (who died of cancer late last year).
Rossi’s Sammamish home used to be in the 5th Legislative District, which he was twice elected to represent in the Washington State Senate prior to running for governor. Now it is in the 45th District thanks to redistricting.
Although Rossi stepped forward to serve as Andy Hill’s immediate replacement back in November of last year, he made it clear he was not interested in running to retain the position. Republicans ultimately recruited his protege Jinyoung Lee Englund to compete in the special election against Democratic candidate Manka Dhingra.
Now, however, Rossi is reentering the arena himself as a candidate… but this time for the United States House of Representatives as opposed to the Legislature.
The last time Rossi sought federal office (in 2010), the central themes of his campaign were controlling spending and reducing the debt — meaningless platitudes Republicans love to pay lip service to when they are out of power.
Like other Republican candidates then and more recently, Rossi also pledged to “repeal and replace” the Patient Protection Act, which has helped millions of Americans obtain access to life-saving healthcare.
Rossi also campaigned in favor of making the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy permanent and “finishing the border fence”.
Were Rossi to take Dave Reichert’s place in Congress beginning in 2019, he would be a dependable vote for Paul Ryan’s agenda.
That’s not what either Washington State or the country needs.
Rossi may have at least one or two rivals running as Republicans. State Representative Drew Stokesbary, for instance, says he has still not ruled out a run. But he’d better get moving if he wants to be competitive against Rossi, who is well connected in Republican circles due to his three failed statewide campaigns.