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Who Will Replace Norm Dicks?

Liz Jones

Names of potential candidates are flying around Friday following the announcement that Congressman Norm Dicks is retiring. The Democratic Representative has easily held the state's 6th District for 36 years. Now the race is on for this soon–to–be open seat, as KUOW's Liz Jones reports.


Within hours of Dicks' announcement, one Republican candidate declared he's running for the seat — that is, running again.

Tacoma attorney Doug Cloud has faced off against Norm Dicks in the past four elections. He came closest last time, losing by a 16 percent margin.

Over the years, Cloud says it's been a friendly rivalry.

Cloud: "Norm was the type of person who could yell at you one moment and slap you on the back the next, yet he remained charming throughout the situation. He was pleasant to me and he was courteous to me for the most part and I appreciated it."

Cloud previously worked as a deputy prosecutor for both Pierce and Kitsap Counties. But Republican political consultant Chris Vance thinks the GOP will need someone with a stronger resume if they want a real shot at this seat.

Vance: "It's a tough district for Republicans. It's not unwinnable like the 7th District, downtown Seattle, but it would take a very good Republican candidate in a very good Republican year to win the 6th."

Vance suggests a Republican legislator, like Jan Angel, might have a better shot.

The 6th Congressional District is anchored in Tacoma and spreads across the Kitsap and Olympic Peninsulas.

Vance thinks a Democrat will win this district again. But he's got his eye on another potential prize.

Vance: "Really, truly what I'd be excited about is the possibility that some Democratic legislators in some swing districts might give up their seats in the Legislature to run for Congress."

If Republicans were then elected in those swing districts, Vance says that increases the chance of a GOP majority in the state House or state Senate.

Despite their party differences, Vance says Congressman Dicks deserves honors for a job well done.

Vance: "He and I would probably disagree on most issues but he is a great member of Congress and has done a great job representing the state and the city of Tacoma."

In a statement, Dicks says he's retiring to enjoy a different pace of life with his family. He plans to serve his final term in Congress through the end of this year.

I'm Liz Jones, KUOW News.

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