Dave Reichert wins another term in Congress
November 13, 2012
By Warren Kagarise
Redistricting ended almost a decade of close challenges for control in the 8th Congressional District, as voters re-elected Republican Dave Reichert by a comfortable margin after a campaign unlike other recent contests for the seat.
In a landslide, Reichert, a former King County sheriff and Auburn Republican, defeated Issaquah Democrat Karen Porterfield, a nonprofit professional and adjunct instructor at Seattle University.
Reichert held on amid vigorous challenges from Democrats in 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010, but redistricting last year reshaped the district. The state commission responsible for redrawing the political map snipped Eastside cities from the district and added Eastern Washington communities.
The result created a seat observers said is reliably Republican — and offered little suspense as Election Day came to a close. Reichert led by 18 points in the initial election night results and continued to hold a commanding lead.
“We toured cities from Eatonville to Chelan, and I heard the same thing, ‘We’ve got to get the economy moving again,’” Reichert said at the state GOP election night celebration in Bellevue. “I’m in a good position to do that in the Ways & Means Committee.”
By the numbers
Dave Reichert: 60 percent (164,667 votes)
Karen Porterfield: 40 percent (110,063 votes)
The redrawn district stretches from Auburn to Issaquah, and then across the Cascades to Ellensburg and Wenatchee.
“Campaigning was the hardest work that I’ve ever done and the most fun that I’ve ever had,” Porterfield said after leaving the state Democrats’ election night celebration in Seattle.
Porterfield said the attention on competitive races elsewhere in the state shifted the focus from the district. In addition, Porterfield, a novice candidate, said running to unseat a battle-tested incumbent posed a challenge.
Reichert and the Republican candidate for governor, state Attorney General Rob McKenna, greeted phone bank volunteers at Reichert’s campaign headquarters in Issaquah the day before the ballot deadline.
“We were out in the community, in businesses in Issaquah, our business offices and our campaign offices are in Issaquah,” Reichert said at the election night celebration. “We are excited to be part of the Issaquah community.”
Reporter Sebastian Moraga contributed to this report.