Last year, when the battle for the 1st Congressional District was heating up, Whatcom County had to choose between a wonderful slate of candidates representing all sides of the political spectrum. The two front-runners, former Microsoft Executive Suzan DelBene and liberal blog champion Darcy Burner, appeared to represent opposite ends of the Democratic continuum. I had the pleasure of interviewing both Burner and DelBene and found them to be articulate, passionate and solid choices for Congress.
Suzan DelBene prevailed, both in the primary and against John Koster in the general. Since arriving in DC, I feared she would start representing the more conservative wing of the Democratic party – similar to our own Rep. Rick Larsen – yet it seems my fears were ungrounded.
In the last year, she has cut her own path, voting for some fiscally conservative measures (her first vote was for a congressional pay freeze) but also stepping out and voting against the CISPA, which would have granted the U.S. government the authority limit or shut down large swaths of websites (Rep. Larsen voted for CISPA). DelBene voted for closing Guantanamo Bay, against new abortion limitations and most recently, she voted to limit the NSA from their massive data-collection efforts, providing legal oversight and strong restrictions (naturally Rep. Larsen voted to let them keep doing what they were doing)
I am so relieved and thrilled that we have such a strong advocate in Congress. While I don’t agree with all of her votes, she is consistently voting a strong moral voice for the values of Whatcom County. She is really living up to that early description as a workhorse, not a showhorse.
If you are free this Saturday, show up at the Ferndale Settler’s Parade. Rep. DelBene will be walking in the parade and probably talking to voters right after. I know I will be proud to thank her for her solid voting record and apologize for this headline which is probably making her media team wince a little bit. But just a little.