U.S. Rep. Adam Smith has been good for the 9th Congressional District in both its old and new configuration.

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Congressman Adam Smith has adequately represented the 9th District in both its new configuration and its old. The Democrat has been honored by groups in his diverse district for being their voice in Washington, D.C., while representing the whole state on trade and military concerns.

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Adam Smith

Adam Smith

Strengths: Represents diverse voice of constituents in Washington, D.C., works on behalf of military families and veterans

Smith continues to get endorsements from people and groups representing all kinds of citizens. He has spoken out on issues such as abuses of immigrants in federal detention and the $15 minimum wage ..."

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His Democratic opponent Jesse Wineberry, a lawyer and businessman who served 10 years in the state Legislature, notes that the 9th District is the state’s first district with a majority of constituents who are racial or ethnic minorities. He said he was recruited by some ministers and other leaders in the community to run for office and can do a better job of representing disenfranchised groups than the incumbent. But Smith continues to get endorsements from people and groups representing all kinds of citizens. He has spoken out on issues such as abuses of immigrants in federal detention and the $15 minimum wage and has worked to find a way for Somali-Americans to send money home to help their families in Africa.

Smith has been in Congress for nearly 20 years and has been elected twice in the new 9th District, which stretches from Tacoma to South Seattle and east into Bellevue.

Although he values the role international trade plays in Washington’s economy, he was wrong in voting against the Trade Promotion Authority and should consider the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Smith could use his clout and negotiation skills to encourage better trade agreements instead of writing them off because they are imperfect.

Although Joint Base Lewis-McChord is no longer part of Smith’s district, he continues to work on behalf of military families and veterans, with initiatives ranging from post-military jobs to more money for local schools on and near military bases.

He says experience matters. When that experience includes holding an important position in Congress as the ranking member on the Armed Services Committee, which sends jobs and dollars to Washington, that experience can’t be ignored.

Information in this article, originally published July 14, 2016, was corrected July 27, 2016, to clarify candidate Jesse Wineberry’s assertions about the advantage of his candidacy. He did not question the ability of a white man to represent the 9th Congressional District.