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Washington - 5th District

Incumbent -- Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R) ; Running for re-election

Safe Republican
Race Ratings Key
 

CQ Politics rates this race as "Safe," meaning the incumbent party is virtually certain to win the seat.

 

District Information

District Profile from Politics in America

With beautiful forests and lush fields, the 5th is anchored by the greater Spokane region, which takes in nearly two-thirds of the district's population and is an economic hub for the Inland Northwest.

Once dependent on manufacturing, Spokane's economy now relies on health care, finance and service jobs. The largest city between Seattle and Minneapolis, it also serves as a nexus for retail, trade and telecommunications companies. Fairchild Air Force Base, 10 miles west of downtown, is one of the metropolitan area's key employers.

North of Spokane, among mountains and national and state forests, no city surpasses the 5,000-resident mark. Although logging and mining used to drive the economy, both industries have declined in recent decades. Okanogan County is known for ranches and orchards.

The Colville Indian Reservation, one of three reservations in the district, takes up large portions of Okanogan and Ferry counties. At the corner of Okanogan and Lincoln counties, the Grand Coulee Dam -- the nation's largest hydropower producer -- crosses the Columbia River into the 4th.

The southern 5th's fertile soil produces some of the world's most sought-after wheat and the Walla Walla sweet onion. At the foot of the Blue Mountains near Oregon, Walla Walla hosts a thriving arts community and two colleges. Area wineries lure tourists, but economic slowdowns in the Northwest may hurt the city.

The 5th tends to strongly favor the GOP. In the 2008 presidential race, John McCain won 11 of the district's 12 counties. Republican Dino Rossi won 59 percent of the district's 2010 U.S. Senate vote.

Major Industry

Agriculture, health care, service, finance

Military Bases

Fairchild Air Force Base, 4,678 military, 516 civilian (2011)

Cities

Spokane, 208,916; Spokane Valley, 89,755; Walla Walla, 31,731

Notable

The Fort Walla Walla Museum's "Living History" performances celebrate the city's heritage and the lives of 19th-century residents.

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