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Washington's 8th congressional district
United States House of Representatives, Washington District 8 map.png
Current Representative Dave Reichert (R)
Population (2000) 654,905
Median income $63,854
Ethnicity 84.1% White, 2.0% Black, 7.9% Asian, 4.0% Hispanic, 0.9% Native American, 0.9% other
Cook PVI D+3

The Eighth Congressional District of Washington includes most of the region known as the Eastside and the mostly rural eastern parts of King and Pierce counties. It is currently represented in the U.S. House of Representatives by Republican Dave Reichert.

Despite the Democratic voting advantage in the district, the combination of affluent suburban areas, exurban communities, and a sizable Mormon population gives this district unmistakable GOP flavor. This district could be compared to Illinois's 10th congressional district or Connecticut's 4th congressional district in terms of voting patterns. [1]

Since its creation after the 1980 U.S. Census, the 8th District has been the only Republican bastion west of the Cascade Mountains; it has never elected a Democrat to the U.S. Congress. In recent years, however, the changing demographics of the Puget Sound region have made the 8th District significantly less conservative, with voters in the district narrowly favoring Democratic presidential candidates Al Gore in 2000 and John Kerry in 2004, and favoring Democrat Barack Obama by almost 15 points over Republican John McCain in the 2008 presidential election.[2] Suzan DelBene has announced her candidacy as a Democrat for the 2010 election. [3]

Contents

Recent History

In 2004, Reichert, at the time serving as the sheriff of King County, beat his Democratic opponent Dave Ross by 52% to 48%, a surprisingly small margin, in the race to replace retiring Rep. Jennifer Dunn; that year, voters in the district favored Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry. Responding to Reichert's perceived vulnerability, former Microsoft project manager Darcy Burner (D) challenged Rep. Reichert in 2006, in what was widely expected to be a close election. Influential election analyst Charlie Cook listed the contest among 68 competitive or potentially competitive House races to watch in 2006, categorizing it as a "toss-up" (defined as "the most competitive; Either party has a good chance of winning."[4] Burner was one of 22 House challengers selected by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) for fundraising assistance with its "Red to Blue" program, aimed at unseating vulnerable Republican incumbents around the country.[5]

In the end, Reichert won reelection, defeating Burner by just 7,341 votes out of more than 250,000 cast. [6] The outcome of the race was not decided for almost a week after the election, as severe flooding in the eastern part of the district delayed the counting of absentee ballots.[7]

In the 2008 election, Reichert faced Burner again in a rematch that many election watchers again described as one of the nation's hottest contests. This time, Reichert defeated Burner 53 percent to 47 percent, a solid victory despite Barack Obama' 15-point margin in the district.

Representatives

Representative Party Years Terms
Rod Chandler Republican 1983 – 1993 5
Jennifer Dunn Republican 1993 – 2005 6
Dave Reichert Republican 2005 – present 3

See also

External links

References

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ 2008 Race Tracker. Retrieved 2009-01-06.
  3. ^ [2].
  4. ^ Cook, Charlie. "2006 competitive House race chart." The Cook Political Report, October 11th, 2006. (warning: PDF)
  5. ^ Hearn, Josephine. "Internal DCCC list pins hopes on 22 challengers." The Hill, April 27, 2006.
  6. ^ Office of the Washington Secretary of State. 2006 General Election Results. Accessed January 3, 2007.
  7. ^ Kapochunas, Rachel. "WA 8: GOP Survivor Reichert Prevails Over Burner." The New York Times, November 14, 2006.

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