Kim Schrier addresses the Washington State Democratic Convention
Kim Schrier addresses the Washington State Democratic Convention (Photo: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)

This week, bal­lots were mailed to Wash­ing­ton vot­ers for the August 2018 Top Two elec­tion. Vot­ers in the state’s 8th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict have until August 7th to decide who they’d like to see take over for Dave Reichert in the Unit­ed States House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives (Reichert is retir­ing after sev­en terms in Congress).

Two weeks ago, NPI began pub­lish­ing pro­files of the three lead­ing Demo­c­ra­t­ic con­tenders vying to suc­ceed Reichert. Only one of them is expect­ed to advance to the gen­er­al elec­tion to face Repub­li­can Dino Rossi.

Pre­vi­ous install­ments fea­tured Dr. Shan­non Had­er and Jason Rit­tereis­er.

In the final install­ment of this series, we’ll take a look at the can­di­da­cy of Dr. Kim Schri­er, a pedi­a­tri­cian from Issaquah who is flu­ent in both Eng­lish and Spanish.

Schri­er says the 2016 elec­tion was a huge wake-up call for her. When the first Trump­cuts bill was intro­duced, she went with three oth­er doc­tors to meet with Dave Reichert’s staff and explain all the ways it would hurt the dis­trict and their patients. Days lat­er, Reichert vot­ed for it in com­mit­tee any­way, and that gal­va­nized Schri­er to become the change she want­ed to see in the 8th District.

“We deserve bet­ter,” she told NPI in an inter­view. “At this moment, when health­care is being tak­en away from peo­ple, who bet­ter than the com­mu­ni­ty pedi­a­tri­cian who is a mom and who has her own pre­ex­ist­ing condition.”

Schri­er was diag­nosed with type one dia­betes as a teenag­er — a con­di­tion that helped prompt her to pur­sue a career as a pediatrician.

When asked what sets her apart from the oth­er Demo­c­ra­t­ic con­tenders, Schri­er argues she is the only can­di­date that has tru­ly made the 8th her home.

As she puts it: “I have been work­ing with fam­i­lies here for the past sev­en­teen years. I think that tak­ing care of these fam­i­lies has giv­en me a front seat view to what real­ly goes on in the lives of the fam­i­lies of the district.”

Schri­er prides her­self on being a thought­ful and effec­tive lis­ten­er. “It’s tru­ly impor­tant to be acces­si­ble to hear [the] con­cerns of every con­stituent”, she says.

Schri­er is proud that her cam­paign has not one, but two field offices. One is locat­ed in Auburn; the oth­er is in Issaquah. Schri­er plans to open a third office in Wenatchee should she advance to the gen­er­al election.

Fit­ting­ly, con­sid­er­ing she is a pedi­a­tri­cian, Schrier’s top issue as a can­di­date is health­care. Ear­li­er this month she released two health­care-focused ads that will run on tele­vi­sion and dig­i­tal chan­nels in the district.

At the same time, she unveiled her com­pre­hen­sive health­care plan. It includes expand­ing Medicare through an imme­di­ate pub­lic option that would allow more indi­vid­u­als and small busi­ness­es the oppor­tu­ni­ty to buy into Medicare.

She also wants to allow Medicare to nego­ti­ate drug prices and ensure those prices get rolled out across the board for pri­vate insur­ance companies.

Schri­er has first­hand expe­ri­ence with the ris­ing cost of pre­scrip­tion drugs in this coun­try. “I know what it’s like to wor­ry about the cost of med­ica­tions. The price of the insulin that I use rose from forty dol­lars per bot­tle twen­ty years ago to $260 now. It is the exact same bot­tle. Noth­ing has changed, but our health­care sys­tem has allowed the price to increase by more than six hun­dred percent.”

Schri­er also sup­ports efforts to invest in med­ical research, includ­ing pro­vid­ing fund­ing to fed­er­al research agen­cies and uni­ver­si­ties, as well as increas­ing fed­er­al funds for research on addic­tion and treat­ment for opi­oid addiction.

Anoth­er major con­cern for con­stituents in the 8th is agri­cul­ture. Schri­er is hop­ing to gain sup­port from rur­al farm­ers who may have pre­vi­ous­ly vot­ed for Trump but are now suf­fer­ing from the administration’s poli­cies on immi­gra­tion and trade.

“Farm­ers are real­ly cool­ing to this admin­is­tra­tion. I know a lot of them did vote for Trump, but see­ing that their bot­tom lines and their work­ers are real­ly being adverse­ly affect­ed by these poli­cies… it may make them think otherwise.”

Schri­er also men­tioned immi­gra­tion reform, keep­ing fam­i­lies togeth­er, and pro­tect­ing wom­en’s repro­duc­tive rights as key pri­or­i­ties she will focus on if elect­ed. Schri­er has been endorsed by both EMI­LY’s List and the Planned Par­ent­hood Action Fund. And, along with Rit­tereis­er, she was endorsed by the Wash­ing­ton State Labor Coun­cil, AFL-CIO, at the WSLC’s COPE meet­ing sev­er­al weeks ago.

In just a few short weeks, we’ll know who will advance to the Novem­ber gen­er­al elec­tion in the 8th. There are twelve can­di­dates com­pet­ing for two spots.

Dino Rossi is wide­ly expect­ed to be the top vote get­ter thanks to his name recog­ni­tion (he’s pre­vi­ous­ly run three times for statewide office and lost) plus his sup­port from the Repub­li­can Par­ty establishment.

Who will be the oth­er top vote get­ter? Will it be Kim Schri­er, Jason Rit­tereis­er, or Shan­non Had­er… or some­one else? We can’t answer that ques­tion right now, but we should have a pret­ty good idea once the sun has set on August 7th.

Until then, don’t for­get to vote! If you’re reg­is­tered to vote in Wash­ing­ton, you should have received a bal­lot pack­et in the mail from your coun­ty elec­tions agency. Note that it is no longer nec­es­sary to place a stamp on the return enve­lope to send it back through the mail, as every coun­ty is pro­vid­ing pre­paid postage.

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