The Democratic Party establishment is starting to coalesce around DelBene, who ran and lost in the old 8th Congressional District—the eastside Seattle suburbs heading east and south into eastern Pierce County—against Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA, 8 ) in 2010. Yesterday, Gov. Chris Gregoire endorsed DelBene—who raised a stunning $340,000 in the first quarter, catapulting her to the top of pack with Laura Ruderman, who's been raising money since June. (With cash left over from her last race, DelBene is at $372,000 with $317,000 on hand. Ruderman is in second in fundraising: She's raised $362,000 with $220,000 cash on hand. Darcy Burner has raised $306,000 with $114,000 cash on hand.)
DelBene also got two big labor endorsements late last month—the Boeing machinists union in the heart of the district in Everett and the teamsters.[pullquote]The Democratic Party establishment is starting to coalesce around DelBene.[/pullquote]
Larsen edged out Tea Party favorite John Koster in 2010. Redistricting put Koster, a Snohomish County Council member, in the new 1st District, and he's the presumptive GOP candidate in this year's race.
Larsen, a wannabe standup comedian, is a moderate who gets away with leaning left (yea cap and trade, yea Affordable Health Care Act, yay gay rights).
Here's a Cola video interview with Larsen from 2010.
And here's his endorsement statement on DelBene:
The First Congressional District race is critically important for Democrats this fall. As someone who currently represents large portions of the district, I know what it takes to win there, both as an open seat in 2000 and a hotly contested one in 2010.
I have been watching the race closely and evaluating the Democratic candidates. I am looking for the person who can best run the kind of modern campaign that mixes the necessary organization, outreach to the big and small towns, and resources to deliver the positive message of restoring the middle class and protecting Medicare.
That candidate must also push back against the tired Tea Party/Republican policies of the presumed GOP candidate.
I am endorsing Suzan DelBene for Congress. Suzan DelBene has worked hard in the last few months to understand the issues in Whatcom, Skagit and Snohomish Counties through aggressive outreach to local community groups and elected officials. She combines that with her clear knowledge of the needs of North King County.
Suzan DelBene has put together the kind of organization to win the primary and this fall. I am not surprised by this as it reflects her success in business putting together successful organizations.
Suzan DelBene has proved she can raise money competitively in this race, outraising all other Democratic candidates and crushing the lone Republican candidate in that aspect of the campaign.
Most importantly, Suzan DelBene brings her moderate business background and a progressive outlook that best equips her to address the need for jobs and economic growth in the new distrtict.
Suzan DelBene is passionate about restoring the middle class that was devastated by the Bush recession and will fight for all working families while protecting Medicare for seniors and educational opportunity for kids.
All of this points to Suzan DelBene as the Democratic candidate who will win this fall.
Democrats are blessed with a great group of candidates for the new First District. Suzan DelBene is a cut above. I am asking Democrats to support her.