Kim Schrier, a pediatrician running for Congress in Washington's 8th District, has picked up an endorsement from EMILY's List, giving her a boost in a crowded primary field. The open-seat race to succeed retiring GOP Rep. Dave Reichert could help determine control of the U.S. House in 2018.

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The national women’s political group EMILY’s List has endorsed pediatrician Kim Schrier in Washington’s 8th Congressional District race, giving the Democrat a boost in a crowded 2018 primary field to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Auburn.

The nod is not entirely surprising as EMILY’s List exists to elect Democratic women who support abortion rights. But it comes early in the race, as some Democrats look to winnow the field of candidates vying to compete with Dino Rossi, the likely contender on the GOP side.

“As a pediatrician and a community leader, Kim Schrier has dedicated her career to improving people’s lives — and now she wants to continue that work in Congress. At a time when congressional Republicans continue to sabotage health care for millions of families, Kim’s perspective as a doctor and a patient with a pre-existing condition is needed in Washington now more than ever,” said Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILY’s List, in a statement.

Notably, the influential group passed over another other Democratic woman campaigning actively in the 8th District: Mona Das, a mortgage business owner who lives in Covington.

Practically speaking, the endorsement is likely to give Schrier a fundraising boost as the group promotes her candidacy nationally on its mailing list and through social media.

“They play big and make a big difference,” Schrier said in an interview Wednesday. “I am so delighted to be in the company of so many other women who have their endorsement.”

Schrier lives in Sammamish and has worked as a pediatrician at Virginia Mason Issaquah Medical Center for 16 years. She said EMILY’s List helped her start her campaign, encouraging her to run and providing training and helping her find her campaign manager.

Das’ campaign responded in an emailed statement that she was “surprised” to hear EMILY’s List “moved so early to make an endorsement, especially in a race with two compelling women candidates.” She added the endorsement “doesn’t change a lot” and said she was focused on raising money and connecting with 8th District voters.

Since Trump’s election, EMILY’s List says it has seen a flurry of interest, with some 20,000 women seeking to run for political office

Other Democrats competing in the primary include: Toby Whitney, a former congressional aide and Amazon manager; Jason Rittereiser, a former King County deputy prosecutor; and Brayden Olson, a local entrepreneur.

A Democrat has never been elected to Congress in the 8th District since its creation after the 1980 Census. But Reichert’s retirement immediately vaulted the district into a top pickup opportunity for Democrats.

The district, which runs from East King County across the Interstate 90 corridor to Chelan County, is one of 23 Republican-held House districts in which Hillary Clinton outperformed Trump last year.

Rossi, who has lost three statewide races, came out of the gates strong since announcing his candidacy, raising $578,000 in just nine days.