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The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

May 15, 2012 at 11:43 AM

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Rep. Dave Reichert gets a challenge from the right

Once state redistricting gurus finished drawing the new 8th Congressional District, Congressman Dave Reichert had to be pretty happy with a new district that stretches across the Cascade Mountains from eastern King and Pierce counties into friendly Republican territory in Chelan and Kittitas counties.

Reichert, a former King County sheriff, therefore, might be surprised this week to see a challenge from the right, a Seattle police officer, no less.

Sgt. Keith Swank, from Puyallup, portrays himself in a news story as more conservative than Reichert.

On his website, Swank calls himself a constitutional conservative.

The current 8th District congressman is more accustomed to running each cycle against Democrats.

Swank made headlines a while back when, as an acting lieutenant, he was suspended for 10 days without pay after a detective hurled racially charged invective against a Latino man, the famous "Mexican piss" incident.

Swank, who had responded to the scene of the incident, defended his actions at the time. But police commanders said he failed to provide adequate supervision.

He couldn't be reach this morning to discuss his candidacy.

A Democrat, Karen Porterfield, a faculty member at Seattle University, has also filed to challenge Reichert this fall.

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Campaign contributions to state races

This table shows campaign contributions to each gubernatorial candidate. Gov. Chris Gregoire's funds are from before she declared she isn't running again. Click here for more info on other races.


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