At Wednesday’s general meeting of the 31st Legislative District Democrats, I met Karen Porterfield, a Management Consultant and Adjunct Faculty member at Seattle University, who is running against Dave Reichert in Washington’s 8th Congressional District.
After the 2010 redistricting, the new borders of the 8th stretch across the Cascades from North Yelm in the southwest corner all the way east to the Columbia River as far north as Chelan. With Mercer Island and much of Bellevue moved to the 9th, and Redmond and Sammamish to the 1st, many consider these new boundaries to be “safe” for Reichert who has held the seat since 2005.
Porterfield made it clear that she will not be able to out-spend Reichert, but she believes winning the district is possible by doing a better job of organizing at the grass-roots level. She promised to canvass heavily in the 31st LD and environs, areas woefully neglected by previous Democratic candidates in the 8th.
With only 3 minutes to address the group alloted to each candidate, Porterfield was able to do little more than introduce herself. I spoke to her briefly in the Library foyer, and I learned that she supports a Constitutional amendment to end corporate personhood and believes so-called “free trade” agreements have done more harm than good. Asked if she would caucus with the New Democrats or the Progressive Democrats, she said that she considers herself and “old Democrat” and that these internal divisions are keeping the Democratic Party from focusing energy on achieving the positive outcomes and common goods that those who share Democratic values espouse.
I couldn’t agree more.