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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 30, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 52
Marko Liias gives up run for Congress
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Marko Liias gives up run for Congress

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

'You win some and you lose some,' Marko Liias chuckled, 'and then there's the third possibility: you get redistricted out.'

In a letter to supporters, Liias announced on December 29 that he was giving up his bid to succeed Jay Inslee as U.S. congressman from the 1st District.

Liias, who has represented the 21st Legislative District in the State House since 2007, was considered one of the stronger candidates for the seat Inslee was vacating to run for governor.

Unfortunately for Liias, Washington will gain one seat in the new Congress, and when the congressional district lines were redrawn, he ended up in the 7th Congressional District, now represented by Seattle's Jim McDermott.

Liias told SGN that he would run for reelection to his House seat and 'focus on being a really good state legislator.'

There will be no shortage of work to do when the legislature reconvenes in 2012, Liias noted.

'We have to get marriage equality passed,' he said. 'And I want to be sure our anti-bullying task force has the resources it needs. Then there's the issue I've been campaigning on - getting our people back to work.'

Asked about rumors that he might run to succeed McDermott when and if the veteran congressman retires, Liias replied that at this point he didn't think the 7th District would be a good fit for him.

'I love Seattle,' he told SGN, 'but it's not the community where I've spent my life. Maybe some other opportunity will come along, and then we'll think about it.'

The text of Liias' letter follows:



I have some tough news to share with you. I will not be continuing my campaign for Congress.

My home, and the communities that I have represented in the State Legislature, were moved into existing congressional districts that already have strong representatives in Congress. The district where I've lived most of my life and hoped to represent in Congress, the First Congressional District, will now move east and become a large, more rural district that stretches from east of Lake Washington to the Canadian Border.

Some have suggested that I move to this new district and run anyway, but that is not who I am.

I started this campaign because I believe that the middle class needs strong, principled voices in Congress. And while 2012 will not be the year that I take our fight to Washington DC, that does not mean our fight is over. After taking some time to consider our options, Mike and I have decided that I should seek reelection to the State Legislature where I can continue the fight for a budget that preserves the safety net, funding for education, realistic transportation solutions, and full marriage equality.

I am proud of all that we accomplished together in this campaign. In less than six months, we attracted support from over 3,000 individual donors, held over a dozen house parties, and we have earned endorsements from amazing community leaders and committed citizens. I could not be more grateful for your support and encouragement.

As I look forward to the upcoming legislative session, I know that there will be teachers and home care workers and small business owners that need a voice in Olympia, and that will be my task. I may ask for your help again in the weeks ahead, and I know that you will be there with me.

Thanks for everything.

All my best,

Marko

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Winning our fight in 2011
A monumental year for LGBT equality

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