Washington Republican Dave Reichert announced Wednesday he won’t seek re-election to the 8th District, opening up a top takeover opportunity for Democrats next year.
“After spending time during the August work period with family and friends, reflecting on the past, discussing the future, and celebrating another birthday, I have decided this will be my last term,” Reichert said in a statement.
The seven-term lawmaker has been a strong supporter of trade and defender of the Export-Import Bank. He chairs the Ways and Means subcommittee on trade.
“Early on, the importance of trade to the region was clear. From serving on President Obama’s Export Council to battling to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank to leading the fight to pass the U.S.-Korea free trade agreement, I have always fought to give our exporters the chance to sell their goods and services around the world,” Reichert said in his statement.
He hasn’t been afraid to buck his own party, voting against the GOP health care bill earlier this year.
The former sheriff has been a tough incumbent to defeat. First elected in 2004, he won re-election last fall by more than 20 points, while Hillary Clinton carried the 8th District by 3 points.
Democrats were already targeting this seat in 2018, but Reichert’s retirement should give them a better shot. A crowded field of Democratic contenders has already emerged, including pediatrician Kim Schrier and attorney Jason Rittereiser. Perennial GOP candidate Dino Rossi may take a look on the GOP side. Many more candidates, on both sides, will be eyeing this seat now that it’ll be open.