It was about 18 months ago, during a conversation over coffee, that Attorney General Rob McKenna decided to throw his support behind David Castillo, a first-time candidate who was mounting a challenge to U.S. Rep. Brian Baird.
The political sands have shifted since McKenna’s pledge: Baird opted to retire rather than run for re-election, leaving Castillo, state Rep. Jaime Herrera, R-Camas, and Democrat Denny Heck, among others, jockeying for position to advance beyond next month’s primary and into the general election.
What hasn’t changed, McKenna said Tuesday inside a ballroom at The Heathman Lodge, is his belief that Castillo has the “right experience, right convictions and the right skill-set” to become the first republican to capture the 3rd District since 1999.
“I got behind David early, and I think he will be a great congressman,” McKenna said.
Two key early endorsers of Castillo’s candidacy, McKenna and House Republican leader Richard DeBolt, R-Chehalis, made clear their support Tuesday morning in a fundraiser that drew about 75 supporters, who dined on eggs, potatoes and sausage at $35 a person.