Some commenters at the Washington State Political Report
have expressed dismay that I didn't make mention of 4th District Democrat Sandy Matheson's challenge against the Republican incumbent Doc Hastings when I was touting
the DCCC involvement in Washington's open seats.
No disrespect meant to Ms. Matheson, really. There were a couple reasons for the lack of mention. One is that I'm unaware of the D-Trip taking an active role in targeting the race as a prime pickup opportunity, and that was really the subject of the previous post (I didn't hype any of our reasonably safe incumbent Ds, either).
The other is that I simply haven't paid as much attention to the 4th District as I probably should. It's the only CD in the state with an incumbent R on the ballot, and up till a week ago there was a three way primary for the Democratic challenger. Matheson won the primary handily, with over 60% of the ballots cast, so she's our standard bearer now.
I wish she seemed a little more proud of that. It's hard to find that little 'D' on her website
, obscured as it is by repeated references to her independence. (Really, Sandy, all those 4th District voters are going to know you're a Democrat. Doc won't let the point go unnoticed, so you might as well just go with it.)
On the plus side, she's managed to raise about a quarter of a million bucks, 80% of it from individuals, so she's clearly industrious. After the primary, she's still got over 100 grand on hand, so she has the resources to keep Hastings pinned down at home fighting the challenge, regardless of the odds he may see in his favor.
There's no doubt that I'd vote for Sandy Matheson if I lived in the 4th, and I commend her to every 4th District voter, simply on the basis of her party ID and the fact that if she can pull off a win, it's one more vote in the Speaker Pelosi column. It's a little harder to recommend her to folks outside the district, though.
While she's got an encouraging list of labor endorsements, there's not a partisan endorsement, from a group or an individual, on her website. There's scant evidence of her positions beyond some undetailed boiler plate support for jobs, education and access to health care. There's the simple fact that it's far more likely that we'll prevail in the open seats than in a race between a novice candidate and a five term incumbent in a district that's been engineered as safe R.
And there's this, from campaignmoney.com
MATHESON, SANDRA JEANNE $2,000 08/15/2003 BUSH-CHENEY '04
Any Matheson fans with insight into that?
Bottom line? If you live in the 4th, vote for Sandy Matheson. If you're out of the area and looking for a Democratic race to make a difference in, I'm still pushing either Dave Ross or Don Barbieri.
Better yet, support the DCCC
and let them sort it out.
Eyes on the prize, after all. Speaker Pelosi
. Make it happen.