1st Congressional District candidate forum March 23

EVERETT — With the new 1st Congressional District in northwest Washington set to be an open race in 2012, the Washington State Labor Council and the AFL-CIO Central Labor Councils in that district will be staging a candidate forum from 7-9 p.m. on Friday, March 23, at the Everett Machinists Union Hall, located at 8729 Airport Rd.

"The U.S. House seat being vacated by Rep. Jay Inslee is in a district that was deliberately redrawn to make it a 'swing' district, with equal parts traditionally Democratic and Republican voters," said Kathy Cummings, communications director for the Washington State Labor Council. "Of the new 1st Congressional District, redistricting Commissioner Slade Gorton said it may easily be the most evenly divided congressional district in the United States of America."

The 1st Congressional District race has attracted a number of candidates, which Cummings sees as posing an additional challenge for voters to determine which candidate would best represent their own interests.

The forum, which will be moderated by Enrique Cerna of KCTS-9 TV, is co-sponsored by the King County Labor Council, the Northwest Washington Central Labor Council, the Snohomish County Labor Council and the Washington State Labor Council.

All the candidates in the race have been invited to participate in the forum. Those who have accepted invitations include Democrats Darcy Burner, Suzan DelBene, state Rep. Roger Goodman, state Sen. Steve Hobbs, Darshan Rauniyar and Laura Ruderman, as well as independent Larry Ishmael. As of press time, Republican John Koster has no plans to attend.

Parking at the Machinists Hall in Everett is very limited, so please arrange carpools. For more information, log onto the Washington State Labor Council's "newsstand" website at www.thestand.org.

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