Oh, Dino Rossi. The Republican party just can’t quit you. Because here you are. You’re back. Again. This time running for U.S. representative for the Eighth Congressional District.
How many times have you been on the ballot? There was the biggie, back in 2004, your first run for governor and the 133-vote loss, after election officials found those unsecured, unsupervised ballots that overwhelmingly fell in Christine Gregoire’s favor. Just 133 votes! You could taste it. And there you were again, back for more, challenging the now-incumbent governor four years later. And lost again. Two years later? Why not? You were on the ballot against U.S. senator Patty Murray.
But maybe, just maybe, fourth time’s the charm. Because this time you’re not facing an incumbent or high-profile politician. This time, you’ve got the upper hand, both financially and with name recognition. You are truly the Chosen One. The fate of King County’s GOP representation in Congress lies in your hands. You’ll likely sail through August’s primary and right onto the November general election ballot.
Only here’s the problem. You’re practically the Democrat party’s plaything in its perennial game of whack-a-mole. Meanwhile, your congressional district—which, granted, did vote for you those three times you ran in statewide races and was long a Republican stronghold—is rapidly changing, growing more diverse and swinging further to the left.
And why do you appear to be…in hiding? Your media appearances remain elusive as you rarely grant interviews. And though Washington State Republican Party chairman Caleb Heimlich points out that the district still voted largely Republican down the ballot locally, the exception was Hillary Clinton, who won there. (While you rushed to Donald Trump’s defense.) That’s big news for Democrats, who think they’ve got a real shot at taking back this House seat now occupied by longtime GOP incumbent Dave Reichert. During the midterm, when there’s a Republican president and majority in Congress.
Granted you’re only 58, with years still left in the bank. But it’s now been 15 years since you held a coveted role in the state legislature, 10 years since you last ran for the governor’s office that—we know, we know—should have been yours.
We’d suggest it’s time to bid adieu to the bitter past, Dino. But like the “Dino Rossi for Governor” bumper sticker we saw plastered on the back of a pickup truck on I-90 recently, you’re holding on for dear life—relentless, persistent, but ever fading.