U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene financed her first two congressional races largely with her Microsoft wealth. For her re-election in November, the Medina Democrat so far has kept her money in her pocket to rely instead on donations from what she touts as an aggressive, grass-roots campaign.
But Thursdays entrance by a challenger could test DelBenes resolve for a populist campaign.
The candidate, Pedro Celis, is a retired Microsoft engineer and former chairman of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly who opposes a higher minimum wage and the Affordable Care Act and supports immigration reform and college financial aid to students who were brought here as children illegally.
Sandeep Kaushik, DelBenes campaign spokesman, has dismissed Celis as far too extreme to represent the 1st District, which is considered evenly split between Republicans and Democrats. Nevertheless, DelBene is not swearing off chipping into her campaign treasury again just yet.