Washington state’s most wide-open race for Congress has one less candidate.
State Sen. Craig Pridemore, the main Democratic rival to Denny Heck for the open seat in the 3rd Congressional District, announced today he is bowing out of the race and endorsed Heck.
The Vancouver legislator had been running to the left of Heck and had picked up a big endorsement in May from the State Labor Council. But he said in a news release the “intense” pace of the special legislative session kept him from competing in fundraising. Heck, the former state legislator and TVW founder, had $532,000 in campaign cash on hand at the end of March, 10 times what Pridemore had.
Democrat Cheryl Crist of Olympia is also running for Rep. Brian Baird‘s seat, along with two Republicans, state Rep. Jaime Herrera and former Homeland Security Department official David Castillo.
Here’s Pridemore’s news release:
Withdraws From Congressional Race in 3rd CD, Endorses Heck
Special legislative session set campaign far behind in fundraising, says Democratic State Senator; Immediate Endorsement of Olympia Businessman Denny Heck sends signal to Democrats to unify and hold seat this November.
VANCOUVER: State Senator Craig Pridemroe (D-Vancouver) today announced he was ending his campaign for the open seat on Washington’s 3rd Congressional District. Pridemore, a two term legislator who chairs the State Revenue Forecast Council and sits on the budget writing Ways and Means Committee, cited the intense, prolonged session as setting him too far behind the fundraising pace of Olympia Businessman Denny Heck.
Pridemore, who in recent weeks won the coveted endorsements of the Sierra Club and the Washington State Labor Council, issues the following statement:
“I want to first of all thank all of the individuals and organizations who supported my campaign. I am so grateful to have earned your trust, and look forward to continued service in the State Senate. I am especially humbled by the endorsements of organizations and friends who have rallied in recent weeks, knowing that we left the session with a steep hill to climb. Thank you.
I regret the need to exit this race, but it is clear to me that the long session placed our campaign at a clear disadvantage. While I wish I had been able to focus on my campaign earlier, I am proud that my focus this winter was where it needed to be: addressing the real issues facing the working families and small businesses of Southwest Washington. I entered politics to excel at public service, not the other way around.
I also want to congratulate and offer my immediate and full endorsement to Denny Heck, who is now in the best position—and is the best candidate—to win the seat in November. Denny is a bright, hard working and authentic SW Washington leader and we need his broad experience working for us in Congress. I encourage my supporters to help him and Senator Patty Murray in their elections this November.”