Look at the recent Daily Bits on the website. Trump lies, We lie down; December summary: Mayoral elections, impeachment, Beto O’Rourke and the Texas House of Representatives.
2020 General Election
A scene from another era. Less than four years ago but another era. Carolyn Long https://electlong.com/ on stage with three Secretaries of State. Kim Wyman, Republican and still Washington’s Secretary of State. Two more Washington Republican former Secretaries of State – Sam Reed and Ralph Munro. Cornell Clayton, an academic administrator, presided.
Two people were being honored. Sam Reed was one. For the first time, the Sam Reed Distinguished Professorship in Civic Education and Public Civility at Washington State University – Vancouver was being installed. Carolyn Long, member of the political science faculty, occasional academic administrator, author about constitutional rights, and future Democratic candidate for Congress, was being installed in the Distinguished Professorship.
Almost four years later, a Professorship in political civility seems to reflect an aspiration. Honoring a retired Republican by installing a Democrat in a Professorship named for him seems foreign to the political culture. March 2016 is an age ago.
Shades of Margaret Thatcher, Carolyn Long grew up in her family grocery business. Her father became ill when the store was opened. She took a few weeks off from high school to help her mom open the business. She went back to high school, of course. Went on to college at the University of Oregon and paid for much of her college education working at a Safeway. She was a member of UFCW Local 555 and ran the produce department. She earned her doctorate on the other side of the country – at Rutgers in 1997 – eight years after graduating.
Carolyn Long began teaching at University of Washington, Vancouver in 1995 and became a fixture. She took on administrative roles: Director of the Program on Public Affairs, Associate Director of the College of Liberal Arts and then the College of Arts and Sciences. She won awards: a Fulbright to teach in Slovenia, a University Institutional Service Award, the University President’s Award for Leadership. She wrote books: on Religious Freedom and Indian Rights, on Search and Seizure, on the Pledge of Allegiance. And she taught courses: constitutional law, civil liberties, criminal law.
Hers was an academic life. If Carolyn Long was political outside the University, it was not visible. 2016 happened. She appears to be one more person energized by the election of Donald Trump. She ran for Congress in 2018 in Washington’s competitive Third District. Bordered by the Pacific Ocean on the West and Oregon on the South, the district pushes farther and farther east with each redistricting. In the last seventeen presidential elections, Republicans have won the district nine times. Since the district was created in 1990, there have been eight Republican Representatives, six Democrats.
Carolyn Long’s race in 2018 might have been winnable in the Democratic wave. Not so winnable for an inexperienced candidate. Not so winnable against a tough opponent. Representative Jamie Herrara Beutler was tough to defeat. She will be tough in 2020, too.
She is a rare woman among Congressional Republicans (one of two from the State of Washington, though). She is a rare non-Cuban Hispanic among Republicans. Home schooled, a high school basketball player, University of Washington graduate, intern in the state senate, at the White House, and a legislative aide to Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Spokane, Herrera Beutler has been trained. She found a moderate to conservative niche not so different from Cathy McMorris Rodgers who, herself, defeated a tough opponent in 2018. Herrera Beutler was elected to Congress in 2010, winning an open, Republican seat. She has continued to win, overcoming the burden of caring for a newborn with a severe birth defect, defeating a Tea Party Republican, defeating Carolyn Long in 2018 – but not by much. In the first round, top two non-partisan primary, Herrara Beutler received 42% of the vote. She won the run-off with 52% of the vote – a drop of 10 points from 2016.
Carolyn Long and her supporters believe that her increased experience and name recognition from the 2018 race will make a difference for 2020. Some of her weaknesses will have moderated as well. The center of Carolyn Long’s work life was Vancouver, Washington, but her home, until 2017, was across the Columbia River in Oregon, the state in which she grew up and went to college. Criticism of where she had lived may moderate two years later.
In 2018, Carolyn Long defeated a 2016 Bernie Sanders supporter in the primary to become the Democratic nominee. Some of those voters may not have shown up in the general election. Despite the wide open presidential race, the Democratic Party seems to have solidified for 2020. Democrats seem less likely in 2020 to refuse to vote for a nominee who is not their first choice.
Carolyn Long will face an opponent in the primary in 2020. Not a well financed opponent. In the last reporting period which ended September 30, Carolyn Long had raised more than $600,000. That was a little more than half of the incumbent’s fund raising, but more than ten times the amount raised by her primary opponent. Carolyn Long will be the Democratic nominee.
The potential for a problem remains and is highlighted by Carolyn Long’s health care position. She advocates for strengthening the Affordable Care Act and for adding a public option. Her opponent supports Medicare for All. Carolyn Long https://electlong.com/ will need every possible Democratic vote to win the general election. She needs every dollar she can raise as well. She has been careful with her money. She spent much less than the incumbent early and ended the last quarter with two-thirds of what the incumbent had. She is a good person to help; one more person who can expand the Democratic majority in the House.
Below are Congressional seats Democrats are trying to flip from incumbent Republicans. The ones with asterisks ran in 2018*
California 50 Ammar Campa-Hajjar* to win this now open Rep seat
Florida 16 Margaret Good to beat incumbent Vern Buchanan
Illinois 13 Betsy D Londrigen* to beat incumbent Rodney Davis
Indiana 05 Christina Hale to win this open Republican seat
Iowa 04 JD Scholten* to beat incumbent Steve King
Michigan 06 Jon Hoadley to beat incumbent Fred Upton
Minnesota 01 Dan Feehan* to beat incumbent Jim Hagedorn
New York 21 Tedra Cobb* to beat incumbent Elise Stefanic
Pennsylvania 10 Eugene DePasquale to beat incumbent Scott Perry
Texas 23 Gina Ortiz Jones* to win this open Republican seat
Washington 03 Carolyn Long* to beat incumbent Jaime Herrera Beutler