|Darcy Burner||Rodney Tom|
Two lines of thought about the Washington 8th district race last year. One is that Darcy Burner, the Democrat who challenged Republican House incumbent Dave Reichert last year, just wasn't quite strong enough as a candidate to get the job done. The other is that the job was simply very tough - Reichert was well funded and organized in a district with a solid Republican infrastructure - and that Burner was a solid enough candidate.
We've not particularly weighed in on that; our basic view is that in a race as close as that one was, many factors could reasonably be cited for why it tipped as it did. And about Burner's re-entry into the 2008 fray? Uncertainty. Rematches usually result in a weakened re-run for the first-time loser, but sometimes they work. And if you do argue that Burner's loss was partly due to her inexperience, you can also argue that her experience now could make her a stronger contender. She has been highly active in this cycle, and is coming up on a quarter-million dollars in fundraising, very solid for this point in the cycle. (There's also a fine web video posted on her web site.)
Point here is that such speculation will get very pertinent, now that state Senator Rodney Tom (a recent convert for the Democrats) will run in the Democratic primary, against Burner. He entered after another Democratic legislator, Christopher Hurst, decided not to.
Hurst, who's supporting Tom, was quoted this way in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer: "No disrespect to Darcy ... but she had her run, in what was probably the best year in 40 years to run as a Democrat, and she came up short."
That puts the point squarely. And it's a fair issue for voters in a primary, the question of who is best equipped to run the general campaign against the other party. (And who best to represent the party; Burner has already brought up, as well, Tom's recent conversion from the Republican Party.)
With the primary in place, the Democrats (and Democratic voters) of the 8th will get their chance to weigh in.