Ben Stuckart has announced that his is withdrawing from the Congressional race, citing family health issues.
In the announcement, Stuckart recommits to the citizens of Spokane, who he currently serves as City Council President, admitting that he had spread himself too thin with his current role, Congressional campaign, and family obligations.
Instead, look for Stuckart to enter the 2019 Spokane mayor race, which he was planning on entering before the 2016 presidential election.
“Although it won’t be me carrying the message, I am heartened by recent poll numbers that show a strong number of Eastern Washingtonians ready to make a change in Congress,” said Stuckart in a statement.
Incumbent Cathy McMorris Rodgers has held the seat since 2005. She won 60 percent of the vote in 2016 and has served as Vice Chair of the House Republican Conference since 2009, the fourth highest position for House Republicans.
McMorris Rodgers was also the only Washington representative to vote for the AHCA and has been a strong supporter of the bill, which will likely remain a focal point throughout the election.
Trump won the district with 52 percent of the vote to Clinton’s 39 percent.
Currently, the only Democrat registered in the race for Washington’s 5th Congressional District is Matthew Sutherland, a first time candidate and member of the Washington Army National Guard.
But Lisa Brown is stepping down as WSU Spokane Chancellor in August, and has admitted that she is considering running. Brown served in the Washington State Legislature from 1993 to 2013 in both the House and Senate. She was the first woman Democratic Senate Majority Leader in Washington and has a record of health care reform, assisting in the Mental Health Parity Act of 2005 and creating the nonprofit Prescription Drug Assistance Foundation.
With roughly another year before the filing deadline, this race will be closely watched as other candidates declare or withdraw. Don’t forget all the hype in December when there were rumors that McMorris Rodgers would vacant her seat to serve as Secretary of the Interior.