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Democratic candidate for 8th Congressional District says ‘you have to play the game’ to win

Santiago Ramos says he will not limit himself to small contributions during his run for Congress. (Santiago Ramos/Facebook)

A sentiment to oust big money from politics has spread quickly through the ranks.

Doing their best Bernie Sanders impressions, many lawmakers have voiced concerns that requiring politicians to continue fundraising even while in office distracts from their job of governing and skews loyalties. But at least one Democrat running for Congress believes you have to play the game before you can change it.

Related: The battle for the 8th Congressional District

Santiago Ramos is running against Republican incumbent Dave Reichert and Democratic challenger Tony Ventrella for the 8th Congressional District. Ventrella says nothing can get done unless you get big money “the heck out of politics,” and Reichert argues that not every member of Congress is spending 30-plus hours a week on fundraising.

Ramos may not agree with big money on politics but says the only way to beat it is to make it into office.

“No, I’m not limiting myself to small contributions,” Ramos told Seattle’s Morning News. “One of the things I’ve learned from the past is that you need to be able to make the changes when you go into office. You have to play the game the way it is.”

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Ramos, a Hispanic-American, says he is running for Congress to ensure the opportunities that were available to him — he’s a businessman and received his MBA from Western Washington University — are available to everyone. It’s about “the American dream,” he says.

Thanks to the anti-Donald Trump sentiment, Ramos says he — and maybe other Democrats — have a one-up on Republicans. Ramos can get “more people involved,” many of whom are not even registered to vote, he says.

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