U.S. Congressional District 1, drawn to absorb just about all the rural parts of Northwest Washington and enough Seattle-area urbanity to create (one would think) an interesting toss-up district, appears in fact to be a safe haven for freshman Suzan DelBene (D-Medina).
This is mainly because Republicans do not appear ready or willing to challenge her, reports Jim Brunner of The Seattle Times.
After the latest update of "Sabato's Crystal Ball" at the University of Virginia Center for Politics, all 10 seats in Washington state are now safe for the six Democratic and four Republican incumbents in 2014. (This of course includes Rick Larsen (D-Everett) of the 2nd Congressional District, whose boundaries have been redrawn to include far fewer conservatives. Larsen represents Bellingham, DelBene most of the rest of Whatcom County.)
According to Brunner, DelBene has one thing definitely working in her favor: her personal wealth. Former Sen. Slade Gorton had this to say about any Republican challenger (from Brunner):
“That person will either have to have money of his or her own, or there will have to be an extraordinary fundraising effort and third-party intervention,” Gorton said, referring to outside GOP allied groups that pour money into competitive congressional races nationally.
The Brunner piece names a few Republicans who may have been reasonable candidates, but as of that writing (Thursday, Sept. 19), no one had stepped forward.
Local Democrat-blogger Riley Sweeney last month named a different name: Doug Ericksen, the state senator from Ferndale and the 42nd Legislative District. But that appeared more like wishful thinking on Sweeney's part.