U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert relocates district office to Issaquah
February 28, 2012
By Warren Kagarise
U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert plans to open a district office in Issaquah after redistricting shifted the former office on Mercer Island into another district.
The GOP congressman plans to open a district office in a Southeast 56th Street office building uphill from East Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast.
The relocation reflects a monumental change in the district Reichert represents. The redrawn 8th Congressional District stretches from Auburn in South King County to Wenatchee in Chelan County. The former district encompassed only communities in King and Pierce counties.
(The reshaped district goes into effect for the House of Representatives election in November.)
“We felt like Issaquah was probably the most accessible and easy to get to for both sides of the Cascades,” Reichert said in a Feb. 24 interview.
The district office employs seven staffers responsible for handling constituents’ questions related to Social Security entitlements, veterans benefits, immigration issues and more.
The congressman also operates a smaller district office in Buckley, a South King County community near Enumclaw. Reichert said the Buckley office could shift, perhaps to Auburn, and another district office could open to serve Central Washington constituents, perhaps in Wenatchee.
House rules require members to relocate district offices before May 1 during election years or to wait until after the November election.
Longtime Issaquah developer Rowley Properties reached out to Reichert to consider Issaquah for a district office after the Washington State Redistricting Commission announced the redrawn districts in late December.
District Director Sue Foy then searched for a suitable space in the city. The site needed to meet criteria for security and square footage.
What to know
U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert’s district office
“I’m back here almost every weekend,” Reichert said. “It’s a busy schedule, but you have to stay in touch with your constituents.”
The relocation represents a homecoming of sorts for the lawmaker. In the early 1970s, before serving as King County sheriff and a congressman, Reichert used to patrol the Issaquah area as a deputy.
Redistricting shifted Mercer Island into the 9th Congressional District. Tacoma Democrat Adam Smith represents the redrawn district.
Local officials praised Reichert’s decision to relocate to Issaquah. Neither of Reichert’s predecessors in Congress — Republicans Rod Chandler and Jennifer Dunn — operated a district office in the city.
“It’s always good to have the person familiar with the on-the-ground situation,” Mayor Ava Frisinger said.
Issaquah Chamber of Commerce CEO Matthew Bott said the added luster from hosting a district office could benefit local businesses.
“It allows the congressman and his staff to get to know Issaquah further,” he said. “It gives us continued opportunities to work with many different elements of the federal government.”
Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.