Longs candidacy continues to empurple.
Long's candidacy continues to empurple. Courtesy of Carolyn Long

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On Thursday Democrat Carolyn Long picked up an endorsement from Michael Cortney, one of the three Republicans who ran for Congress in southwest Washington during the primaries.

If you've been reading your Slogs like you're supposed to, you know Long took second in the primary and is now running a surprisingly tight race against Republican incumbent Jaime Herrera Beutler. Cortney's endorsement might help put Long over the edge. In the August primary, Cortney picked up 3.37 percent of the vote. Collectively, the Democrats only lost by 2 percent.

"Jaime Herrera Beutler may portray herself as a moderate, but on the issues that matter most to the future of our district she aligns herself with extremist Republican leaders like Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell," Cortney said in a press release from the Long campaign. "As a moderate Republican, I'm supporting Carolyn Long for Congress in Washington's 3rd District because she has demonstrated to me that she understands the threat that climate change poses to our communities and will work across the aisle to create a brighter future for our children."

In the release, Long said she's "deeply grateful to have the support of someone so genuinely concerned about the well-being of our community."

Katy Sword at the Columbian reports that Rep. Herrera Beutler played down Cortney's endorsement of Long, all but calling him a Democrat for backing a 90 percent income tax on the wealthy. Sword also notes that no other primary candidate has endorsed in the race yet, which suggests that analysts might be a little premature in lumping together the blue vote and saying it's a two-point race.

In an interview with The Stranger last week, Mandalynn Harbert, who ran communications for Dorothy Gasque, a Justice Democrat who pulled 4.9 percent of the vote in the 3rd, said the former candidate was "focusing on rank choice voting."

Harbert added that she was personally putting her organizing efforts into three other races in southwest Washington. She's backing Damion Jiles and Kathy Gillespie for State House seats, and also Eric Holt for Clark County Council Chair. Gasque did not return a call for comment last week, and I couldn't reach her through Harbert this morning. I'll update this post if I hear back.

Regardless, knocking on doors for State House candidates can only help Long's chances. And in a purple district like the 3rd, an endorsement from a former rival with an R next to his name provides some pretty solid evidence of Long's bipartisan appeal.