In an effort to rally the troops behind Kim Schrier, the Democratic candidate who will face off against Dino Rossi in the closely watched race to fill Congressman Dave Reichert's seat in Washington's 8th Congressional District, the WA State Democrats are hosting a “Flip the 8th Unity Event" in the middle of the day today in Issaquah.
Shannon Hader, one of Schrier's Democratic rivals, will literally be phoning in her appearance. "She took a few days off after the primary and will be video conferencing from her vacation," says her spokesman.
Festivities begin at 2:30 p.m. at the Dems field office on 1320 NW Mall Street, Suite E. You'll hear speeches from certified heart-throb Bob Ferguson, party chair Tina Podlowdowski, Rep. Suzan DelBene, and of course the three Democratic candidates who ran for the seat—Jason Rittereiser, Shannon Hader (digitally), and the very fuel powering the #SchrierFire that's sweeping across the district, Kim Schrier.
This event is clearly designed to attract media attention, which is fine. But after a close and contentious primary battle (Schrier beat her nearest rival by 1,146 votes, less than a percentage point) Democrats would be smart to host an event designed to attract voter attention. Voters need to get together, have a few, and remember that all Democrats must become one force united to defeat Republican Dino Rossi.
The party would do well to earnestly present a united front if only to make it cheaper for Schrier to pick up votes in the general. If you assume that every Democratic candidate spent all the money they raised before the primary (including independent expenditures), then Schrier ended up spending $63.49 per vote, Hader spent $40.10 per vote (and about half that from her own pocket), and Rittereiser spent $29.50.
Rossi spent $44.24 per vote if he spent all the money he raised, but only $19.69 if he felt safe and only spent the amount of money the FEC currently shows under "expenditures." We won't know for sure until the candidates file quarterly reports in October.
In any event, Democrats can certainly hope to unite against Rossi, who's been trying to frame Schrier as a radical member of the #resistance since he declared victory on primary night. But if you're looking for a radical, look no farther than our boy Rossi himself, whose anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-immigrant agenda I've laid out so lovingly here.