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Congressional District 1, DelBene and Beeler

  • Written by David B. Clark
During the August 7 Primary, Congressional District 1 was narrowed down between the District’s current congresswoman, Suzan DelBene (D-) and political newcomer, Jeffrey Beeler (R-). Washington’s 1st Congressional District reaches down from the northeastern parts of the state and encompasses the cities of Woodinville, Kirkland, and Redmond.
 
During the August 7 Primary, DelBene received 106,107, or 59.3%, of the total number of votes making her the clear front-runner. Beeler ousted his closest Republican competitor by a sizable 14.23% with Beeler receiving 45,830 votes. While DelBene collected over half of the total votes and Beeler just under a quarter, voter turn out for a Primary is typically less than that of the General election. Simply put, there were thousands of eligible people who did not vote in the Primary election.
 
Washington state has held 10 Congressional districts since the election in 2016. The 10 Congressional Districts are nearly split with six Democrat representatives and four Republican representatives. Each district elects one representative for a two-year term to the US House of Representatives. While the Primary election typically gives a good idea of the State’s partisanship, a state like Washington offers an interesting juxtaposition between the rural, historically conservative character against that of social justice, diversity, and a technologically driven economic boom. The contrast might be most strongly exhibited on the upper Eastside: an area that is nestled far enough away from the metropolitan dynamos of Seattle and Bellevue but still in distance of their heavy influences. Washington’s 1st was represented by Republican congressmen for 40 years beginning in 1953. On January 3 in 1993 then-congresswoman Marie Cantwell (who is now a United States Senator), snapped that streak and pushed the district into the realm it has primarily sat since; one represented by Democrat congresspeople.
 
To better help decide whom deserves your vote on November 6, it is best to familiarize yourself with the candidates’ views.
On Immigration:
 
Beeler has stated that he is strongly in favor of construction of a wall or other infrastructure on our border that gives complete control over entering and exiting the United States. Beeler stated that, “we must compassionately address the issue of illegal immigrants and their children that already make America their home. It’s unfair and unjust to start enforcing laws that have been ignored for decades.  It is the fault of Congress that has allowed illegal immigration to go unchecked.”
 
Beeler commented, “H-1B visas are just another way for foreign workers to attempt to subvert our immigration laws. They use the visa program to get their foot in to the U.S. and then ultimately start the process of applying for green card status, all under the guise that there is an urgent need for foreign high-tech workers. American workers have become underemployed or unemployed by these abusive companies because of the cheap labor companies like Peoples Tech Group are providing.” H-1B visas are visas that allow US employers to employ foreign workers in “specialty occupations” which are defined as those that require highly specialized knowledge such as computing, engineering, biotechnology, and many others. 
 
Beeler said, “For over 50 years there has been a reluctance by congress to fix the immigration issue. Congress needs to stop putting band aid fixes on the wounds of illegal immigration.”
 
DelBene favors a complete immigration reform. She said, “Our broken immigration system is not working for our communities, businesses, immigrants or families. It’s time for comprehensive reform.” DelBene said, “Comprehensive immigration reform should eliminate backlogs, reunite families and meet the demands of our nation’s economy. That’s why, in the 113th Congress, I was a lead sponsor of a bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform bill, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act. This legislation would secure our borders, protect our workers, unite families, and offer hardworking immigrants an earned pathway to citizenship. Unfortunately, we never had the opportunity to vote on this important legislation, but I remain fully committed to working toward a balanced, responsible approach to fixing our immigration system.”
 
On the Economy:
 
Beeler has been a successful small business owner for decades. Additionally, he has sat on the Sultan City Council for nine years. Beeler believes that the government should stay out of the way of the free market. He thinks that the lowering of taxes should be the first priority. Beeler said, “How is it that Congress can’t live within its own budget. I, as a small business owner must, but somehow Congress does not. Or, the only way to manage the budget is by raising taxes.”
 
DelBene’s top priority in Congress is to continue to help ensure that every American can succeed in the 21st century. She has worked to expand opportunities and invest in the foundations she sees as sustaining long-term economic growth and security. DelBene said, “Millions of Americans work full-time and still can’t earn a living wage. We need an economy that works for everyone, which is why I support raising the minimum wage and providing paid sick leave.” DelBene believes that the 1st District shows entrepreneurship and innovation vividly. It’s a place where aerospace meets agriculture and technology. She believes that investing in education and infrastructure are the best ways to foster a continually progressive, unique area.
 
On Health:
 
Beeler has called what has occurred in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) “a debacle” citing personal negative experiences to himself, his family, and friends. Beeler commented, “Since the passage of the ACA (Obamacare) it has been anything but affordable. Higher deductibles, higher premiums, and higher copays. I hear constantly from constituents things need to change.”
 
DelBene is committed to making it so every US citizen has quality healthcare that they can afford. When considering the ACA, she commented, “The ACA was an important step and many of its reforms are working. However, the law isn’t perfect. We must keep working to bring down costs, improve the quality of coverage, and expand access to care.” DelBene believes that the need to expand mental health services has never been greater. She supports reform efforts that allow rural and underserved areas the resources they need. DelBene has also commented on the opioid crisis saying that opioid addiction is a disease, not a crime.
 
We at The Woodinville Weekly urge you to educate yourself and vote on November 6.
 
To learn more about Jeffrey Beeler, please visit https://www.beeler4congress.com/
To learn more about Suzan DelBene, please visit https://delbene.house.gov/

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