By Daniel Brinkman and Jack LaMorte -
In this edition we look at Washington’s 8th Congressional District where democrat incumbent Kim Schrier is up against the GOP’s Matt Larkin. The 8th CD starts near the outskirts of the Seattle suburbs and stretches inland around a hundred miles from there.
The democrat incumbent holding this seat is the rather uninspiring Kim Schrier who first won the seat in 2018. She is a Pediatrician and boasts of being the first female pediatrician in congress. Unsurprisingly she talks a lot about healthcare in her appearances, which admittedly is a major point dem candidates hit on. She however, does not stray from democrat talking points which makes her seem uninspired. Neither does Schrier make the effort of seeming moderate which many dems in bubble seats do, except in her tone.
She seems fairly radical for a swing seat dem. She attacked her previous opponent for being out of step with local issues for opposing abortion. She has a 100% pro abortion rating from NARAL a 100% liberal rating on economic and social issues and voted with Biden 100% of the time while only voting with Trump’s stated position 6.6% of the time. The previous district had a democratic advantage of D plus 1.
Schrier underperformed Biden by 5,000 votes last cycle despite her race being the costliest in the nation. She has been called an impressive fundraiser.
The GOP’s horse in the 8th is Matt Larkin. Matt has a company employing 50 people, he is a former prosecutor and was a speechwriter for George W Bush. His ads focus on inflation and crime and he rightly points out that Schrier is just going along with whatever Pelosi and Biden want. One of his ads featured the clever tagline “make crime illegal again” and he has run previously albeit unsuccessfully to be the state’s Attorney General. He does seem to have somewhat of a sense of humor on a local program where candidates pick a coffee shop Larkin picked his based on the fact that it had been broken into six times.
In the fundraising side of this race, Schrier has a major advantage going in her cash on hand is $5.5 million to Larkin’s $480k although Larkin did raise nearly a million but has to spend at a little faster clip to narrow the name recognition gap.
Larkin should have an advantage on messaging and he is no stranger to politics. He also seems like much more of a natural candidate than does Schrier. Schrier’s appears forced and too practiced and frankly boring as a candidate. Hopefully Larkin can tap into his Bush-world roots for some decent funding to unseat Schrier.