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July 11, 2007

Hurst won't run, but says Burner will have challenge

Posted by David Postman at 11:33 AM

State Rep. Christopher Hurst, D-Enumclaw, tells me that family concerns and heavy lobbying from House Speaker Frank Chopp has convinced him not to join the Democratic primary in the 8th Congressional District. But he says that state Sen. Rodney Tom, D-Medina,
will soon announce he will run against Darcy Burner, the party's '06 nominee who has already begun her second run to take on Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Auburn.

Hurst and Tom have been talking publicly about a potential primary run and have had many discussions amongst themselves. Hurst said:

"One of our very big concerns was I didn't want to run in a primary against Rodney and he didn't want a primary with me in it. We're both tenacious campaigners."

But neither was concerned apparently about running against Burner, who is off to a fast fundraising start. Hurst said he is worried his soldier son may soon be deployed to Afghanistan and that would make it hard to concentrate on a congressional campaign. He said that would be particularly hard on his wife, who has always been an integral part of his campaigns.

Was Chopp clear he didn't want Hurst to run?

"Oh good God, I would say that is an understatement. I did have a meeting with Frank. I tried to avoid it as long as I could. Frank is obviously pretty persuasive."

Hurst said that Tom will join the primary "fairly soon." He said he likes Burner but doesn't think she can beat Reichert.

"The objective is to find what serves the citizens best and I think that is to have Dave replaced. I just have to say if you couldn't win in 2006, you've got to take a couple of steps back and take a reality check and see if you can do it in 2008."

Burner has already said she thinks she is better situated to win in her second run.

UPDATE: Burner issued a statement today about Tom's likely announcement. She makes it clear she'll raise the issue of Tom's switch last year from the Republican Party.

Our most recent fundraising quarter gives me confidence that nothing can stop us from defeating Congressman Reichert next November. The energy, enthusiasm and momentum in this race is already with this campaign. It is clear that voters are ready to replace an outspoken advocate of the War in Iraq with someone who has the courage to end the War.

As for the issue of experience that Rodney Tom has raised, what voters really want from their elected leaders is good judgment. Rodney Tom only recently figured out that the policies of George Bush are wrong for our country. And Dave Reichert is still wrong on all of the big issues of the day: the war in Iraq, a woman's right to choose, and the other failed policies of the Bush administration.

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