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Jerry Cornfield | jcornfield@heraldnet.com
Published: Monday, August 1, 2011, 10:42 a.m.

Hobbs looks to bring moderate voice to Congress

Democratic state Sen. Steve Hobbs of Lake Stevens, who's been carving out a reputation as a middle-of-the-road member of his party, announced today he's running for a seat in Congress.

Hobbs, 41, is in his second term in the Legislature and is one of the founders of the moderate Democratic coalition known as the “Roadkill Caucus.”

Hobbs said he hoped to bring his approach of working across party lines from Olympia to Washington, D.C.

“We have all witnessed partisan sniping and brinkmanship in Congress which has reached epidemic proportions. Both parties have chosen to play politics instead of drafting policy," he said in a statement. "Congress can't solve every woe that ails this nation, but if they'd put aside party politics and focus more on helping struggling families find jobs, they could ease the pain for many who are suffering.”

Hobbs has faced political heat for his views. Liberal Democratic groups, some statewide unions and the Republican Party all tried to keep him from being re-elected in 2010.

“During my time in the State Senate, I learned that working across party lines doesn't always make one the most popular person. I also learned that it's the right thing to do for the people I serve," he said in the statement.

Hobbs is vying to succeed U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., in the 1st Congressional District. He is the fourth Democrat in the race.

He joins state Rep. Roger Goodman and former state lawmaker Laura Ruderman -- both of Kirkland -- and Darshan Rauniyar of Bothell. Rep. Marko Liias, D-Edmonds, is expected to formally enter the competition this week.

Republican James Watkins, also of Kirkland, who lost to Inslee in 2010, is the only GOP candidate to declare.

Hobbs' plan does hinge on the final results of redistricting later this year. Today, Hobbs lives in the 2nd Congressional District served by U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Wash., and he is not planning to challenge the incumbent.

Hobbs has said he's confident the redrawing of the boundaries will result in his neighborhood landing in either Inslee's District or the state's new 10th seat in Congress.


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