In Our View: U.S. Senate Race - Reed Davis gets endorsement

Friday, August 27, 2004
Columbian editorial writers

Olympia, WA - Republican Reed Davis, a political science professor at Seattle Pacific University and former chairman of the King County Republican Party, is an exciting candidate. He is the type of person voters have in mind when they say things like, "We need good, qualified people to run for office."

That's not to say Davis' main opponent in the GOP primary race for U.S. Senate U.S. Rep. George Nethercutt is not a good or qualified person. In fact, Nethercutt is far more experienced at legislative work than Davis, who has never been elected to a public office. But we think Davis can do well in Washington, D.C., and we like his ideals and his drive.

The winner of this six-person race, in which Nethercutt and Davis are the only two sufficiently qualified candidates, will oppose Sen. Patty Murray in the general election. Murray has our strong nod in her Democratic primary against two unknowns who are no match for the incumbent senator.

Like many seasoned politicians, Nethercutt often goes along to get along. He feels to us like a career politician who lacks focus or conviction, as evidenced by his decision to break his 1994 term-limits pledge, his waffling on issues and his refusal to take part in interviews or debates where his challenger is present. And after talking with Davis, it makes sense to us that Nethercutt would be hesitant to let voters see the contrast between the two.

Davis is the opposite of a career politician. He is a serious ideologue, and in Davis' case, that doesn't mean he will not compromise when doing so would benefit his constituents. It does mean he will often think outside of the box.

When it comes down to it, Nethercutt and Davis probably would not vote much differently in the Senate. But Davis' edge is in finding and proposing innovations or tweaks that are attractive to fellow lawmakers and citizens.

While we disagree with Davis (and Nethercutt) on several issues from social issues to environmental policy Davis' take on topics is refreshing. He is reliably conservative, but not reliably Republican. For example, he thinks No Child Left Behind has taken the federal role in education too far, and his support for the Iraq war is based on the desire to protect the world from threats, not to force democracy on the masses.

Further, we applaud Davis' focus on and passion for budget cuts. We need spending cuts and social-programs solvency to save ourselves from the expanding deficit. Davis said of his passion for this reform, "I want my Republican revolution back." That will resonate with many voters.

For conservatives wanting a candidate who can go up against Murray, Nethercutt has more name recognition but he's not a politician a lot of conservatives are wild about. Davis could get them cheering. And because the U.S. Senate race is a high-profile one, whoever makes it past the primary should have the kind of media coverage needed to compete in the general.

With the spotlight finally shining Davis' way, we think voters will find him as capable and candid as we did, offering state voters a true choice between a hard-working liberal incumbent and a conservative newcomer.

Reed Davis' website is at



In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment for non-profit research and educational purposes only. [Ref.]

Back to Current Edition Citizen Review Archive LINKS Search This Site