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.

Sunday, July 22nd, 2018

Meet the 2018 contenders in Washington’s 8th Congressional District: Kim Schrier

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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One Comment

  1. Three great can­di­dates to choose from in WA-08. Feel­ing kind of spoiled!

    # by Yanira Reynolds :: July 23rd, 2018 at 7:35 AM