Rep. Kim Schrier, Republican challenger Matt Larkin face off in 8th Congressional District debate

ELLENSBURG, Wash. — The candidates for Washington’s 8th Congressional District faced off in a debate at Central Washington University in Ellensburg on Friday evening.

Stretching from eastern Pierce and King counties across the Cascades, the swing district is currently represented by Democrat Dr. Kim Schrier, who was first elected in 2018.

It’s one of just a few competitive seats in the state that will help determine which party controls Congress come January.

Matt Larkin, a businessman and former prosecutor who ran for state attorney general in 2020, is the Republican challenger.

“My wife and I are raising our four little kids … and we’re raising them in a state we don’t recognize anymore,” said Larkin. “We don’t need another two years of the same direction. We need to switch course.”

Schrier, who worked as a pediatrician before being elected, is the only Democrat to hold the seat since the 8th Congressional District was created 40 years ago.

During her time in Congress, she says she has worked with both parties to “deliver results that matter.”

“I promised the people of this district that I would go to bat for them like I’ve always gone to bat for my patients,” Schrier said.

Voters got the chance to learn more about both candidates and where they stand on issues including abortion, gun ownership and the economy on Friday.

With the election just over a week away, some voters have already made their choice in this race as ballots for the election have been mailed.

Ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 8 or dropped off at an official ballot box by 8 p.m. that day.