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Rep. Jim McDermott, in Washington’s very liberal 7th Congressional District, has been so barely challenged, and overwhelmingly elected, that this page has not bothered to endorse him for years. Now he has a somewhat more credible challenger, trial attorney Ron Bemis.

Bemis might have a chance if any Republican did: conservative on spending and debt and liberal on social issues and foreign policy. However, Bemis has never been elected to public office, and his campaign is too small.

The Times will stick this time with McDermott, 75, who has been steadfastly against foreign war and the strongest voice in Congress on trade with Africa. At some point his seat will come open and there will be a real fight. Not now.

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