Marko Liias Explores Seeking First Congressional Dist. Seat Held By Rep. Jay Inslee

Rep. Marko Liias Announces Congressional Exploratory Committee. The Edmonds Democrat is the first to announce for potential open seat in the 1st District.
Rep. Marko Liias (D-Edmonds) became the first person to announce a congressional exploratory committee in the First Congressional District, currently held by Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Bainbridge Island).  Liias announced the formation of his committee in an email to friends and supporters Tuesday morning.
"In the past few months, many people have asked me to consider running for Congress in the 1st District, in the event Congressman Inslee does not seek reelection.  While there are many things left to sort through, I want to let you know I am seriously considering this possibility," wrote Rep. Liias.
Liias cited concerns about the new Republican majority in Congress as central reasons for exploring a candidacy.  His message highlighted the need to send a "fresh, progressive voice to Congress".
"I have been dismayed and disappointed with what I see happening in our nation's capital.  The best interests of the American people have been ignored as a Republican majority has pursued their ideological agenda with ruthlessness," he said.
With widespread speculation that incumbent Congressman Jay Inslee may not seek reelection in 2012, Liias noted a desire to start a "conversation" with voters and potential supporters now.  Early members of the exploratory committee include Snohomish County Labor Council President Darrell Chapman, Rep. Derek Stanford (D-Bothell), and Snohomish County Councilwoman Stephanie Wright (D-Lynnwood).  Other community leaders and elected officials will also help Rep. Liias make a decision on the race.
Liias did note that he does not expect to make a formal decision to enter the race or begin raising funds toward a campaign until Congressman Inslee "announces his own plans".
Rep. Marko Liias has served as a state representative from Snohomish County since 2008, and served on the Mukilteo City Council for two years prior to his appointment to the Legislature.  He has established a reputation as an environmentalist and strong supporter of working families.  In his 2010 reelection campaign for the State House, Liias had early support from the Washington State Labor Council, Sierra Club, and many other progressive organizations.