By Karen Porterfield
It has been an amazing time running for Congress. When I started this adventure, more than one person told me I was crazy…they may be right, but I would not trade this experience for anything. Through this journey I have met countless wonderful people, learned more than I could have imagined, and developed a much deeper understanding off this community we live in. I have to congratulate Representative Reichert on winning re-election. He is a good man and he is my Congressman. It is my sincere hope that he will listen to and represent the people of the 8th District to repay their votes.
I am very pleased that the President was re-elected, he has much to build on and much left to do. I am in debt to Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray for their support and am thrilled that they will continue to fight for us in the Senate. I am hopeful that Jay Inslee will preserve his lead and be our next Governor. With the passage of R-74, I know that I have many many wedding gifts to buy in the upcoming months. The wise people of Washington have returned Jim McDermott, Rick Larson, and Adam Smith to the Congress to keep us moving forward. I want to congratulate my good friends, the newest members of our Congressional Delegation; Denny Heck, Derek Kilmer, and Suzan DelBene. I know they will represent the people of this State and I will always value their friendship. They are intelligent, caring, and committed people. We are lucky to have all of these great people in our corner. Though I am disappointed that I am not joining them, I am heartened by the quality of the people we have set to Washington DC..
I ran this campaign as a grassroots effort reaching out to people throughout the district and having meaningful conversations. When I was on the campaign trail, I wanted to hear about challenges people were facing and discuss their ideas for moving forward. I learned much about the people of the district, and know that they are the kind of people that make America great. In Eatonville I talked to a small businessman that has struggled during the current economic downturn, and is working hard to provide for his family. I talked to a retired person in Sammamish that is worried about the future of Medicare and Social Security. I talked to a person in Auburn that is concerned about the federal deficit, and how we can possibly continue to keep spending and not paying for it. I talked to a person in Puyallup who was concerned about trade and opening foreign markets. In Ellensburg, I heard about the need for a transportation system to promote getting products to markets. In Wenatchee, I talked to orchardists that were concerned about how they would get their crops harvested. These are very real concerns that we must come together and address
I think that every person has an obligation to participate in our political process. I was thrilled by the support I received from people everywhere I went. I was touched by the warm reception I received, and the countless volunteers that help me get the word out. The support and help of the Democratic Party was invaluable. From the Legislative Districts that worked for a wide range of candidates, the organizing skills of our County Chairs, the Combined Campaign offices, and the State Democratic organization. Your help and support was the fuel that keep us moving, and delivered so many wins across the state. To steal a line from Jack Johnson, “We’re better together”.
I want to close with a huge thank you to everyone and with a very brief story from the campaign: In Wenatchee I had a conversation with a girl in high school who was considering running for class president. I told her why I was running, why it was important to be involved, and that the role of elected officials is to serve. I saw her a couple of weeks ago, and she told me that she was inspired to run, and that she is now her class president. Based solely on this, I think this was a successful campaign.
I look forward to contributing in some fashion to the growth of our community, it is what I have always done, it is what I will always do.
Karen Porterfield was a candidate for U.S. representative from the Eighth District, which includes the Eatonville, Graham and Mount Rainier areas.