Jayne Will blue wave wash over 3rd District in November

first_img OK, OK, it’s a hackneyed metaphor. But it also is unavoidable.Because as Jaime Herrera Beutler and Carolyn Long met with The Columbian’s Editorial Board on Wednesday — less than 24 hours after advancing to the general election for congressional representative from Washington’s 3rd District — they came out swinging. They threw haymakers and jabs. They danced and stayed on their toes.Instead of plodding around and cautiously covering up to avoid making a mistake, they demonstrated the insight and quick thinking that made them the best candidates in a field that started with seven people.The winner of the first round? The people of Washington, of course.Because what we deserve and what we need — both here and throughout the country — are competitive elections filled with robust debate at this critical juncture in our history. As Wednesday’s first meeting between Herrera Beutler and Long showed, that is what the people of the 3rd District will have between now and November.Herrera Beutler, the incumbent Republican, has been in office since 2010, when she won with 53 percent of the vote. After that, her constituency was reconfigured as Washington added a 10th district. Herrera Beutler benefited from that change, which made her district more conservative, and she has won subsequent elections with 60, 62, and 62 percent of the vote.Those early knockouts are not solely a result of demographic changes; Herrera Beutler has been popular with constituents and deserves credit for that.But this year’s contest promises to go the distance. Through Thursday’s count, Herrera Beutler had 42.1 percent of the vote in the primary, while Long had 35.3 percent. Notably, the three Republicans in the race combined for 51 percent, while the four Democrats pulled 49 percent. Greg Jayne, Opinion page editorlast_img read more