U.S. Rep. Brian Baird ended his silence Saturday on which candidate he favors to succeed him, endorsing Democrat Denny Heck for the 3rd Congressional District seat Baird is vacating after six terms.
“I am proud to endorse Denny Heck for the 3rd Congressional District because in these very difficult times, Southwest Washington needs someone with real world experience in creating jobs and economic growth to continue to fight for them in Washington, D.C.,” Baird said in a statement issued by Heck’s campaign.
Baird was scheduled to make his endorsement at the annual Pacific County Democratic Crab Feed, a traditional venue for political announcements.
“I’m honored to have earned Congressman Baird’s endorsement,” Heck said in a statement. “He knows what it takes to be a strong advocate back east for the families here in southwest Washington, and knows the economic challenges and opportunities in this district. I look forward to his advice during the campaign.”
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Until now, Baird had been mum about his choice, although he did contribute $2,000 to the campaign of state Rep. Deb Wallace, D- Vancouver. Wallace dropped out of the race Feb. 20.
Heck, 57, was born in Vancouver and graduated from The Evergreen State College. He’s been a familiar face around Olympia as the17th District representative from 1977 to 1985, a former chief clerk of the House of Representatives and chief of staff to former Gov. Booth Gardner.
State Sen. Craig Pridemore of Vancouver is the other major Democratic candidate in the race.