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Washington Candidates Fight for Competitive Seat

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo
House candidate Suzan DelBene is one of the individuals running in the Democratic primary in what will be the most competitive race in Washington state.

DelBene is standing on her vast experience in the business world, including a stint at Microsoft, as an entrepreneur helping to create small businesses, managing small businesses, and working in microfinance to help those in poverty “get back on their feet,” she said. DelBene most recently served as director of the state Department of Revenue, where she was “tackling our economic issues from a different side.”

“I think I bring a unique skill set and experience set to the race, which is important for the folks who live in this district,” DelBene said.

DelBene, who entered the race in mid-January and kicked off a tour of the district on Thursday, also brings considerable wealth and a willingness to expend personal resources on the race. After spending $2.3 million out of her own pocket in 2010, DelBene said she’ll put some money in again but has not yet decided how much.

Burner, DelBene and the rest of the widening field have less than seven months to introduce themselves to the district before the Aug. 7 primary.

“I’ve told folks that being the Representative of these areas is like being the mayor, not the Congressman,” Larsen said. “You have to know what’s going on locally. If you walk in with one playbook, these folks will quickly teach you that you have the wrong one.”

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