Posted by: sweeneyblog | August 6, 2014

Rep. Suzan DelBene wins her reelection campaign

Okay, the headline is not completely accurate – she does indeed have to campaign for the general but right now, it looks like it is all over for the Republicans in the 1st Congressional District.

Rep. Suzan DelBene

Rep. Suzan DelBene

At the beginning of this year, DelBene appeared to be one of the most vulnerable candidates in the nation. Her district, statistically, is one of the most competitive and she was running for reelection for the first time.

The state Republicans had recruited a business-minded Latino, Pedro Celis, and generated some real positive media about his campaign. He had raised just under half a million dollars (the traditional threshold for being competitive in a Congressional race) and was on his way.

Driving through the county, you could see the red “Vote for Pedro” signs dotting the intersections and he had paid multiple visits to Whatcom trying to drum up votes. In short, Celis worked hard for this election.

Then the primary happened and he got beat by someone with $1,000 in the bank. Robert Sutherland, no relation to the famous college professor, edged out Celis in the primary, pulling in 700 more votes than Celis. Obviously today’s ballot count could reverse that but the damage is already done.

Sutherland, a former biochemist whose website is filled with typos and links to videos of random people singing covers of his favorite songs, managed to beat the anointed Republican candidate. That is hard to explain away.

The next vote count could put Celis back in the running but it looks like DelBene can relax a bit, her hard work tackling bipartisan issues like reining in the NSA and immigration reform is paying off and her opponents just can’t seem to get their act together.



  1. You are right Riley Ol Boy!!!! Great coverage.

  2. District 1 one Republicans apparently had trouble appreciating a moderate, pro-business, pro-life, Hispanic candidate. Perhaps Mr. Celis should have worked harder to gain the Washington Arms Collectors (WAC) endorsement. All gallows humor aside, I don’t find this very good news at all for those of us on the far left. I find it scary. The difference between Mr. Robert Sutherland and Mr. John Koster doesn’t seem very much to me at all. I think the Republican party should acknowledge that their deep flirtation with the far right wing has drawbacks. Those drawbacks prevent them from emerging as a moderate party and running people of color in an increasingly Hispanic state. I can’t help but think that Republicans Abraham Lincoln and Dwight D. Eisenhower would not be very amused.

    • Your concern is well-placed, but it should be seen as a wake-up call to leftists to keep up the pressure. There are many ways to do this. You don’t have to limit yourself to the political parties or even create ferment in the 5th estate. There are solid on-the-ground projects that could be started. There are projects that are already working that need help.

      • One way is to read or re-read Rules For Radicals and then say allahu akbar.

      • Wayne – You are soooo predictable. LOL

  3. So why does the Whatcom County Auditor have it 1300 votes for Celis at 8:17 pm and the Secretary of State have 700 votes for Sutherland at 9:22 pm?

  4. Not only does rferrisx have a good commentary, but the responsiveness to constituency and her overall efforts to get work done during her first term are pretty darn hard to argue with. She excelled. She has a diverse district, and certainly was truly a “representative.” It’s hard to argue against that.

  5. “Her district, statistically, is one of the most competitive and she was running for reelection for the first time”-maybe the race was just too fragmented.

  6. I was listening to The Record on KUOW this afternoon and the analyst was surprised that an incumbent (DelBene) got less than 52%. He suggested Celis would prevail in the final count and might even win the seat. I still wish I could vote for Darcy Burner.

    • Me, too! Darcy was the best!


    As of Thursday Morning:

    State Senate- 42nd

    Doug Ericksen-14,479 – 56.05%
    Seth Fleetwood-11,354 – -43.95%

    State House- 42nd Pos 1

    Satpal Sidhu – 10,254 – 39.72%
    Luanne Van Werven – 8,712 – 33.75%
    Bill Knutzen – 5,800 – 22.47%
    Nicholas Kunkel – 1,047 – 4.06%

    State House- 42nd Pos 2

    Vincent Buys – 14,441 – 56%
    Joy Monjure – 11,346 – 44%

    Here are the rest of the Whatcom County Numbers.

    Here is an update on the primary election results and our take on what they mean for the general election at the State Level.

    The State Senate coalition currently stands at 24 Republicans and 2 Democrats. The State has been anticipating competitive races in as many as 9 districts: As the results below show in 7 out of the 9 races our candidates have double digit leads in all but 1 race and that is coming in at 54% Plus.

    Here is what the initial round of returns looks like:

    LD 6- Spokane Area

    Baumgartner (R) – 57.16%
    Cowan (D) – 42.77%

    LD 26- Gig Harbor,South Kitsap and North West Pierce

    Angel (R) – 56.55%
    Arbogast (D) – 43.45%

    LD 28 North West Pierce County and Tacoma

    O’Ban (R) –56.5%
    Green (D) – 43.5%

    LD 30 Federal Way

    Miloscia (R) – 57.25%
    Song (D) – 42.75%

    LD 42 North Whatcom County

    Ericksen (R) – 56.05%
    Fleetwood (D) – 43.95%

    LD 45 King County Urban North and West

    Hill (R) – 54.03%
    Isenhower (D) – 45.97%

    LD 47 Covington Auburn Area

    Fain (R) – 66.22%
    Barber (D) – 33.78%

    We can not take anything for granted, however, as deep-pocketed liberal special interests and out-of-state billionaire Tom Steyer plan to spend record amounts of money to change the tide and prove these historical trends wrong. On Sunday, Tom Steyer was profiled in a NY Times article that detailed his plans to spend millions of dollars in WA State Senate races.

    • Whoa! Tom Steyer is the boogeyman! Oops! Lee Atwater was the boogeyman. Tom Steyer is the bogeyman. It is soooo hard to keep all the boogeys and bogeys straight, what with all the Koch Brothers money flooding into every race and confusing things. Not to mention the 24/7 wall of nonsense put out by Faux News, orchestrated by yet ANOTHER billionaire – Rupert Murdoch. Just think if all the rightwingers had to think up their own talking points.

  8. […] PCO and honored Democrat Hue Beattie recently and he offered up an interesting theory about why Pedro Celis did so poorly, and Robert Sutherland did so well. Beattie contests that after deciding that they did not want to […]

  9. […] difficulties gaining support within his party – some of which can be attributed to his race. In the primary, the Republicans nearly selected a virtual nobody over their anointed nominee, and I believe that this was because Celis is a […]

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