Shot at Congress for former Seattle sportscaster is ‘longer than Joe Namath vs. Johnny Unitas’
Apr 25, 2016, 1:27 PM
It’s a longshot, but former Seattle sportscaster Tony Ventrella is committed to challenging Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert for Congress in the 8th Congressional District.
Ventrella told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson that he’s contemplated running in the past, but has continued to back away. He finally figured out the reason: the cost to run for office.
The reason he’s shied away from running for office is the reason he will campaign against Reichert. He says the problem with Congress is the amount of time they are stuck fundraising, instead of spending time with their peers and understanding what voters want. That’s true, Dori says; the day someone is elected they start the process of raising money to run again.
“I spoke with a number of members of Congress who don’t enjoy that process,” Ventrella told Dori. “Many believe it should be outlawed.” Though there is an effort to do just that, Ventrella says it probably won’t go anywhere.
Ventrella, a Democrat, will focus his campaign on fighting big money in politics. He says he won’t take money from political-action committees or ask rich people for big checks.
Ventrella, 71, spent decades on KING-TV as a sports anchor and has worked for other television and radio stations in the city. Lately, he’s been a digital-media host for the Seattle Seahawks but left the job this year to prepare for the congressional race.
Reichert was first elected to Congress in 2004 and was formerly the King County sheriff.
Dori, a friend of Ventrella, says he should reconsider running.
“I’ve always said don’t do it,” Dori told Ventrella. “I’ve become so cynical of what the process does. No matter how pure of heart you are going into it, few have come out unscathed.”
Ventrella admits it is a longshot without raising the estimated $1 million to $2 million. However, even if he loses but gets his message across it will be a victory for him.