The Washington State Republican Party said Dino Rossi made the announcement about running for the 8th District seat during the party’s annual dinner.
Republican state Sen. Dino Rossi says he’ll run for Congress in the 8th District to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert.
Rossi, whose entry into the race had been anticipated for weeks, announced his 2018 campaign at the Washington State Republican Party’s annual dinner Thursday night in Bellevue.
In a Facebook post, Rossi wrote, “Congress is broken and needs fresh leadership,” and that “most of our leaders in D.C. seem too absorbed in scoring political points instead of working to fix problems.” He declined an interview request Friday through a spokesman.
As a well-known politician who has run unsuccessfully three times for statewide office, Rossi’s entry into the race could cheer Republicans hoping to retain the 8th Congressional District seat and maintain the status quo in Washington, D.C., where the GOP controls the House, Senate and White House.
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National political analysts see Reichert’s seat as a top pickup possibility for Democrats seeking to flip control of the House in next year’s midterm elections.
Rossi’s entry doesn’t immediately change that picture, said Kyle Kondik, managing editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball, a nonpartisan elections and politics newsletter published by the University of Virginia.
“It’s still a toss-up as an open seat, but Rossi gives the Republicans a very credible candidate who has carried this district in past races. This is a recruiting win for House Republicans but this is still a tough seat for them to hold,” Kondik said in an email.
A Sammamish resident, Rossi, 57, previously served in the state Senate from 1997 through 2003, when he chaired the Ways and Means Committee. He was appointed last year to fill a state Senate vacancy in the Eastside’s 45th Legislative District after state Sen. Andy Hill died of lung cancer.
Rossi is best known for his 2004 gubernatorial race, in which he nearly defeated then-Democratic Attorney General Chris Gregoire. Initially declared the winner, Rossi lost by just 133 votes after two recounts and a failed lawsuit. He lost a rematch with Gregoire in 2008 by 195,000 votes. In 2010, he lost an attempt to unseat U.S. Sen. Patty Murray by about 119,000 votes.
In his Facebook announcement, Rossi noted he has…