Washington’s 8th Congressional District not only spans the Cascade Mountains but also the partisan divide that has riven America.
Since winning a hard fight for Congress in 2018, U.S. Rep. Kim Schrier has demonstrated commitment to the interests of both the blue-leaning Tacoma and Seattle suburbs, and the conservative agricultural towns east of the mountains. She should be reelected to a second term in the House of Representatives.
Schrier, a pediatrician from Issaquah and a centrist Democrat, is the Northwest’s only member of the House Agricultural Committee. From this position, she emerged as a reliable ally for farmers of her district, sometimes partnering with Republican lawmakers to give agricultural bills bipartisan muscle. With Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, Schrier introduced a bill in August to provide fruits and vegetables to children whose schools are closed. Schrier and Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Sunnyside, got Yakima River Basin funding into the public lands bill signed into law in August. She also worked to ensure this year’s farm bill kept research money available to help Washington specialty crops, including wine grapes and other fruit.
Within her Democratic caucus, Schrier has played a much-needed role counterbalancing the surge of the extreme left. Schrier joined the business-friendly New Democrat Coalition, joining most of Washington’s Democrats in Congress as voices for moderation. She did not join the early rush to call for President Donald Trump’s impeachment. But she joined four of Washington’s seven House Democrats in calling for an impeachment inquiry to formally begin in July 2019 as solid evidence mounted of the president’s wrongdoing.
Schrier has room to grow as a voice for the political center and as an advocate for the complex trade interests of the 8th District, which includes tech-sector companies along with agricultural ones.
Her opponent, Republican Jesse Jensen, brings strong business and military credentials. He’s a former Army Ranger and captain, and has taken his post-service MBA to roles at Amazon and Microsoft. Like Schrier in 2018, he’s running for Congress without prior elected experience and shows the intellectual rigor to quickly grasp the job. But his evolution from casting a write-in vote for the presidency in 2016 to fully supporting President Trump’s reelection shows that he’s willing to adopt the same misguided fealty that has hijacked the national Republican party. And his attempt to paint Schrier as a hard-left liberal misrepresents the record of her service.
Schrier has put in the work to reach out to her entire divided district and deserves to continue in Congress.