Incumbent congressman willing, but foe not so much

By Pat Jenkins The Dispatch The two remaining choices for Congress for voters in Eatonville and other parts of southeast Pierce County include a candidate who at one point was hoping they wouldn't pick him. The Republican incumbent in the 8th Congressional District, Rep. Dave Reichert, has advanced past the primary election along with Democrat Tony Ventrella. With 60 percent for him, Reichert was the runaway leader in voting that ended Aug. 2. Ventrella, against his wishes, finished second in the six-way race with 19 percent. Reichert is expected to win re-election easily. His district is considered a Republican stronghold. Ventrella, a first-time candidate and a former Seattle television sports newsman, said early in his campaign that he wanted to run a non-traditional campaign with virtually no fund-raising or spending. He later announced that approach wasn't working and he stopped campaigning, but too late under election laws to have his name taken off the ballot. Despite his requests for any support of him to go to other Democrats, voters chose him as Reichert's opponent for the general election this fall. As a reluctant finalist, Ventrella has reconsidered and resumed his campaign, but has remained reticent about campaign fund-raising. "I am against the influence of big money in politics," he said at the Pierce County Democratic Party convention before the primary. Two other Democrats GÇô Santiago Ramos, who is a real estate broker, and Alida Skold, a business and leadership consultant GÇô received 13 percent and 8 percent of the votes, respectively, in the primary. Reichert is seeking a seventh two-year term. Since winning his first four with 52 or 51 percent of the votes, he's been re-elected with big majorities in 2012 (59 percent) and 2014 (63 percent). Before being elected to Congress, he was King County's sheriff. The 8th District includes parts of four counties GÇô Pierce, King, and eastern Washington's Kittitas and Chelan. Among Pierce County voters, 60 percent of those who cast ballots in the primary went for Reichert, 19 percent for Ventrella.


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