Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler is in an enviable position. She successfully defeated a capable opponent in two consecutive elections. Redistricting will likely create a more right-leaning district for the next 10 years. Together, these two events make it extremely challenging for Democrats to recruit a viable candidate. As a result, the congresswoman’s secure position creates the opportunity to become a statesperson.
I encourage her to avoid listening to the noise on both extremes of the parties and begin charting a course that serves our economic and community interests. She should listen carefully to the needs of our local governments and social service organizations and, using the return of limited earmarking, respond by using her influence to direct policies and funding that support our community and economic development.