Yesterday, Microsoft Political Action Committee partnered with CityClub of Seattle to host a public debate on our Redmond campus among the candidates running for the 1st Congressional District seat in Washington. Because the district is home both to Microsoft’s headquarters and to many of our employees, we thought it important to provide a forum for our employees and the public to hear from the candidates directly and engage in a discussion around the topics that matter to them most.
Candidates are competing to fill the seat vacated by former Rep. Jay Inslee, who is currently running for governor against Attorney General Rob McKenna. They include Steve Hobbs (D), John Koster (R), Darshan Rauniyar (D) and three former Microsoft employees, Darcy Burner (D), Suzan DelBene (D) and Laura Ruderman (D). Issues discussed by the candidates ranged from their ability to work across party lines, the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, the DREAM Act and immigration reform, Social Security eligibility reform, raising taxes on high-income individuals, the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens’ United ruling, charter schools, marriage equality and the timetable for withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, among others.
After recent redistricting, the 1st District is now the most evenly-split district among Democrats and Republicans in the state, and is considered as pure a swing district as any in the country. Its new boundaries put it among the most diverse districts in the state as well, encompassing a mix of high-tech industry and dense urban areas to agriculture, extremely rural areas, from the eastside of Lake Washington right up to the Canadian border.
Yesterday’s lively debate provides a glimpse of what is proving to be a very exciting race towards the Aug. 7 primary (where the top-two vote-getters will advance), and offers a representative sampling of the discussion taking place nationally and in districts all across the country between now and the November election.
We invite you to view the debate, courtesy of TVW, here.