NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

Dino Rossi becomes a candidate once again — this time for the U.S. House in WA-08

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.

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