Reporter Hal Bernton breaks down the suddenly competitive congressional race in southwest Washington's 3rd District, where health care is a personal subject for both candidates.

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Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler has taken some pains to distance herself from President Donald Trump. She didn’t endorse or vote for him, saying she wrote in House Speaker Paul Ryan in 2016. She also voted against the House legislation to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

Yet Herrera Beutler could be swept out in a wave of Democratic and independent backlash against Trump and the policies of the GOP majority in Congress. Her less-than-impressive primary showing has drawn increased attention to the 3rd Congressional District race, where political-science professor Carolyn Long is giving Democrats hope of flipping the seat.

Seattle Times reporter Hal Bernton recently profiled the candidates and joins Episode 93 of The Overcast to talk about the southwest Washington district, which runs from rural coastal fishing and timber towns, moving inland to fast-growing Clark County and on to cattle and wind-turbine country along the Columbia River.

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“You really take quite a diverse swath of the state, and both of the candidates say they are going to work in bipartisan fashion [and] bridge the political divides,” Bernton explains in the podcast, recorded at the Seattle studios of 88.5 FM KNKX.

In appealing to voters, both candidates point to humble roots, with Long talking about growing up in a double-wide trailer along the Oregon coast and Herrera Beutler across the street from a chicken farm in the rural Clark County area known as Brush Prairie.

In their 2018 contest, the candidates have clashed about Long’s residency, Herrera Beutler’s avoidance of town halls and debates, a proposed bridge between Portland and Vancouver and whether expanding Medicare is the solution to the nation’s health-care problems.

Later on the podcast, hosts Dan Beekman and Jim Brunner discuss the latest polling and developments in the hotly contested 8th Congressional District race between Democrat Kim Schrier and Republican Dino Rossi.

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