Citing lackluster fundraising, Vancouver-based scientist and businessman Peter Harrison is dropping out of the race to unseat incumbent Southwest Washington Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler.
“It’s time to step back so the light can shine on other candidates,” Harrison said Monday in a press release.
Harrison was one of four Democrats vying to replace Herrera Beutler, a Clark County Republican who’s now in her fourth term representing Washington’s 3rd Congressional District. Harrison said in a press release that he’s throwing his support behind Carolyn Long, a Washington State University Vancouver political science professor who announced her congressional bid in late November.
“It’s hard to drop out, but I don’t have the money I need to be competitive and I don’t want to be a distraction,” he said. Harrison said his campaign receipts were under $5,000.
Harrison noted that Long is off to a strong fundraising start. The first-time candidate raised nearly $35,000 from Nov. 30 to Dec. 31, according to her end-of-year Federal Election Commission filings.
First-time candidate Dorothy Gasque, an Iraq War veteran who announced her candidacy in June, has raised $23,000. Vancouver businessman David McDevitt, who’s making his second congressional bid, has raised $20,000 since filing in November 2016. He’s also loaned his campaign $300,000, which gives him the most cash on hand out of the three Democrats left in the race. He spent about $12,000 through last year.
Long was leading all challengers at the end of December with nearly $18,000 in campaign expenses, leaving her with $22,000 in cash on hand.
(Herrera Beutler raised $585,000 last year, according to her latest FEC filings. She finished the year with $515,000 cash on hand.)
“There is a lot to like about both of the two women Democrats who are running, but I believe our community will be better served by sending Carolyn Long to Congress,” Harrison said in his release.
“She has a better grasp of the issues affecting Southwest Washington and our country, will do a better job of working with other members of Congress, and is head-and-shoulders better at reaching out to and connecting with people in our community than our current office holder and her other challengers.”
The three remaining Democratic contenders will participate in an election forum at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday inside Lower Columbia College’s Laufman Lecture Hall (HSB 101). The format will feature predefined topics and use a lottery system to select audience members for questions. The event is hosted by the Lower Columbia Indivisible group.