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Election Town Hall: 8th District proves a challenging race for any candidate

As we approach Nov. 3, we’re holding a series of virtual election town halls to help you prepare for the upcoming general election.

For the fifth edition of this ongoing series hosted by Gee and Ursula Show co-host Ursula Reutin, KIRO Radio’s Dave Ross and KTTH AM 770’s Jason Rantz share their thoughts on how candidates in the 8th Congressional District, incumbent Kim Schrier and challenger Jesse Jensen, must appeal to people across the political spectrum.

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It’s a race that Dave Ross knew well, but he admits the district looks much different now than it did in 2004 when he ran and lost against former King County Sheriff David Reichert.

“We have to remember that the 8th District is not the one I ran in, so I’m not going to claim to be an expert on it,” Ross said. “The district included Mercer Island, much of the Eastside, and included a big chunk of Pierce County, so yeah, you can’t run as a Seattle candidate in the 8th District. It’s more rural now than it was then. Mercer Island is no longer in it and it’s much bigger. It’s even tougher now to meet people one on one.”

Rantz agrees with Dave, that Seattle Progressives can’t win in the 8th District.

“We’re talking about Kim Schrier, who is very much a progressive Seattle style candidate and Congress woman,” Rantz said. “It doesn’t matter whether or not individual Progressives will like her representation, the question is does she represent Orting, does she represent Enumclaw and Auburn, does she represent Eatonville. And the question should be answered, no.”

Rantz believes Jensen comes off as a pretty even-keeled moderate on a lot of the issues the 8th District faces. He believes the turnout in the August Primary would indicate that Jensen has a good chance of winning the seat on November 3.

“A lot of the money is going to Kim Schrier because it’s outside money. They’re trying to keep this district. It’s why we’re seeing in the (District 3 race), Democrats are spending a lot of money there, too,” Rantz said. “So we’ll see, but all signs are pointing to a Jensen win as of right now.”

Dave said says he can’t made a prediction one way or the other, but he knows there’s tremendous turnout and the Democrats are energized this year.

“This is a good year for a Democrat in a close race to run because I think they have a better advantage than they did probably in 2016 when we were not quite sure how Trump would be as president,” Ross said. “Now we know and a lot of Democrats are really energized to come out of this.”

Rantz and Ross also discussed Referendum 90, also known as the sex-ed measure. Rantz says the curriculum leaves parents powerless and Ross points out they can simply opt out.

“I’m starting to feel like Chris Wallace,” Ursula said as two got into a heated debate over R-90. She moved on to the reviewing the final presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

You can watch the full discussion between Dave and Jason above, and make sure to like KIRO Radio’s Facebook page. Stay tuned for the next edition in our series of weekly election town halls.

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