Political Beat

Bad Timing

Republican congressional candidate Jaime Herrera chose Wednesday to begin airing a new TV ad that attacks the D.C. establishment and portrays her as a hometown girl.

“Here in Southwest Washington, we know what they don’t in the other Washington,” Herrera says in the ad. “We’re against bailouts, reckless spending and more debt. It’s costing us jobs. And we’ve had it with career politicians.”

But here’s the thing: Herrera herself was in that “other Washington” Wednesday taking thousands of dollars in donations from bona fide Republican career politicians.

According to the Seattle P-I, Herrera’s fundraiser was hosted by former U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton, who introduced her to the D.C. Republican establishment and news media last winter, and by lawyer-lobbyist Tim Peckinpaugh.

The P-I reported that the admission price for the Herrera fund-raiser “was at a level usually charged for incumbent members of Congress, but Republicans were pulling out the stops Wednesday” for Herrera, who is running against Democrat Denny Heck for the 3rd District seat being vacated by Rep. Brian Baird.

The 3rd District race, considered a toss-up, is one of the most closely watched House races in the country this year.

“If Jaime Herrera knows so much about Southwest Washington, maybe she should stay a little closer to home,” quipped Heck spokesman Grant Lahmann.

In her ad, Herrera declared, “My opponent’s spent 30 years in politics and he’s supported the madness in the other Washington.”

In fact, Herrera got her start in politics working for U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers in that “other Washington” before coming home in 2007 to seek appointment to a vacant seat in the Washington Legislature, where she has served three years.

Heck served five terms in the Legislature representing Clark County back in the 1970s and early 1980s and later served as chief of staff to Gov. Booth Gardner. But for the past 10 years, he’s been out of public life, launching and investing in several successful businesses.

He’s made only a few trips to D.C. in his life.

Which raises the question: Who’s the “career politician” in this race?

Kathie Durbin

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