Here are the winners and losers in the proposal the Redistricting Commission—starring former US Sen. Slade Gorton, a Republican, and former Seattle Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis, a Democrat—unveiled earlier today.
Republicans: When you crunch past voting numbers in all the districts that now comprise the new 1st Congressional District (north of Seattle up to Canada and also the Microsoft suburbs), you'll find that it's 51.6 percent in the GOP column based on races such as the 2010 US Senate race and the 2008 governor's race.
The 1st District is currently held by Democratic US Rep. Jay Inslee, who's relinquishing the seat to run for governor. There's a big pack of Democrats already running to fill his shoes, but given the new numbers, expect lots of Republicans to jump in now too.
John Koster: The Snohomish County Council Republican, who nearly beat Democratic incumbent US Rep. Rick Larsen in the 2nd in 2010, now lives in the 1st—and could be one of the Republicans who jumps in.
Democrats: The newly configured 9th District, Washington State's first majority-minority congressional district, which stretches from Olympia up to South King County's multicultural suburbs, is 52.3 percent Democratic based on previous voting.
US Rep. Adam Smith currently holds the seat.
Suzan DelBene and Steve Hobbs: Of the 10 candidates who say they're running in the 1st District so far, moderate Democratic State Sen. Steve Hobbs (D-44, Lake Stevens) and the not-yet-declared DelBene, the current state director of revenue and former Democratic congressional candidate against Republican US Rep. Dave Reichert in the neighboring 8th, emerge from the pack as the clear winners.
Hobbs because the district, taking in more rural turf, became slightly more conservative and matches the blue-dog state senate turf that he's won handily twice.
DelBene because she no longer has to take on a strong incumbent like Reichert in the 8th and can step into the race for the open seat as a party favorite.
Hobbs and another candidate, fundraising frontrunner and former state legislator Laura Ruderman, both promptly sent out press releases today reannouncing their bids. (Ruderman, by the way, may be a bit of a loser today as she's been banking on her status as the lone establishment woman in the race.)
And our two winners from our earlier post:
Denny Heck: The former Booth Gardner aide and TVW founder had a district built around his Olympia address today—the brand-new 10th. Heck, formerly in the more conservative 3rd, ran and lost in 2010's race for US Rep. Brain Baird's open seat, to conservative Jaime Herrera Beutler. He'll have a much better chance in the 10th.
People of Color: The reconfigured 9th District is 50.3 percent minority, making it the first majority-minority district in Washington State.
Environmentalists and Democrats: Now that Republican US Rep. Dave Reichert's 8th District has been revamped to lose the richy-rich Microsoft suburbs, he doesn't have to pretend to be with Democrats any more on green issues. Reichert, now representing a district which stretches even farther east—across the Cascades—was just made congressman for life.
Marko Liias: The super liberal state rep was moved from the 1rst District to the 7th, which is certainly more of a fit (the 7th includes most of Seattle). But bad news: Liias, who was running for Inslee's open seat, would now have to run against popular Seattle progressive US Rep. Jim McDermott. We have a call in to Liias to see if he's thinking of moving into the 1st, having already raised nearly $50,000.