MONROE — Republican state Rep. Elizabeth Scott of Monroe has ended her campaign to unseat Democratic U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene in the 1st Congressional District.
Scott informed supporters Wednesday of her decision to halt the effort she began a year ago.
“It is with great sadness that I announce my decision to suspend my campaign for Congress, due to health reasons,” she said in a statement.
“I ask you to respect my family’s privacy during this difficult time,” she stated. “Thank you for your support and your prayers.”
Scott, who said she plans to complete her legislative term, did not elaborate on the health issues.
She contracted whooping cough in late February and missed several days of the legislative session. She did return for the end of regular session and the ensuing special session.
Scott, one of Snohomish County’s most popular conservative Republicans, announced her candidacy in May 2015. Her campaign had yet to gain much traction. She had raised only $95,000 through the end of March.
Her sudden departure leaves the Republican Party without a challenger to DelBene with the candidate filing period set to open May 16. Jacob Pernula, a Democrat, has also filed candidacy papers with the Federal Election Commission.
“It caught everyone by surprise,” said Susan Hutchison, chairwoman of the state Republican Party. “I did have a good conversation with Elizabeth. I wished her the best.”
While there’s little time before filing begins, DelBene won’t go unchallenged, she said
“I know someone will step up but I don’t know who that will be at this time,” Hutchison said. “There’s no question somebody will file under the Republican banner.”
In the past, there’s been rumors that state Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, had designs on a run for Congress. He could not be reached for comment Thursday on the potential of getting into this contest.
Ericksen demonstrated his campaign mettle in 2014 when he won re-election despite a focused attempt by the Democratic Party and a coalition of environmentalists to unseat him.
Another bonus: Ericksen hails from Whatcom County where DelBene lost to her Republican opponents in 2012 and 2014.
DelBene is seeking her third full-term as representative of the district that stretches south from the Canadian border into east King County suburbs. In Snohomish County, it includes the communities of Darrington, Granite Falls, Monroe, Gold Bar, Sultan, Snohomish, Lake Stevens and Mill Creek.
She has raised nearly $1.2 million for her re-election and had $820,000 in cash on hand at the end of March.
Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623;