"The only true conservative"

Republican congressional candidate David Castillo, who trails fellow Republican Jaime Herrera in fund-raising in the 3rd District race, is trying to sharpen his profile — and raise some quick cash — by launching what he’s calling “The 10K Freedom Bomb,” an attempt to raise $10,000 in a single day next Thursday, May 6.

Without mentioning Herrera’s name, Castillo’s campaign put out a message Friday calling himself “the true fiscal conservative” in the race.

“I’m not going to D.C. to be Democrat-Lite,” he said in the fund-raising letter. “I’m going there to stand up to Big Government and Big Labor unions, not make deals with them. I will fight to get spending under control so that job-creating small businesses can thrive.”

Castillo’s fund-raising missive includes a link to his March 27 appearance at a Tea Party rally at the state Capitol in support of Attorney General Rob McKenna‘s decision to join a legal challenge of the health reform bill. Castillo, an Olympia financial consultant and former staffer to the state House Republican Caucus, reminded the crowd that McKenna endorsed him early on and that he’s been in the race since last June, when he thought he’d be running against incumbent U.S. Rep. Brian Baird.

Castillo also has the endorsement of former Texas congressman Dick Armey‘s Freedom Works, an early organizer of the Tea Party movement,

Castillo’s strategy mirrors that of state Sen. Craig Pridemore, D-Vancouver, who in a recent speech to the Clark County Democratic Convention positioned himself as the only true Democrat in the 3rd District race.

That was a not-so-subtle swipe at Olympia entrepreneur and former state legislator Denny Heck, who has a campaign war chest of more than a half-million dollars and has run a centrist campaign focused on job creation and economic growth.

Both Castillo and Pridemore are gambling that the edge is where it’s happening this year. That leaves Heck and state Rep. Herrera to defend the middle. And in a typical election year, that’s where most of the votes reside.

Kathie Durbin

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