Dino Rossi talks about his background, tax cuts at Kittitas County GOP dinner

Dino Rossi talks about his background, tax cuts at Kittitas County GOP dinner

Daily Record

Eighth District U.S. House candidate Dino Rossi, a Republican from Sammamish, said his odds of winning a seat in Congress are good and his record speaks for itself.

“The other side is going to walk over broken glass and we need to be willing as well,” Rossi said during a keynote speech at the Kittitas County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day dinner on Saturday at the Kittitas Valley Event Center.

Rossi talked about his personal climb up the economic ladder through college and into the commercial real estate business. He spoke of his grandparents’ journey from Italy to America and how he discovered family and supporters in Italy during a trip he took there recently.

Rossi is one of several people in the race to fill a seat by outgoing Republican U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert. The 8th District includes Kittitas and Chelan counties and the eastern portions of King and Pierce counties. The top two candidates, regardless of party, will advance from August’s primary election to the general election in November.

Rossi lost an extremely tight gubernatorial race against Christine Gregoire in 2004. Initially declared the winner, Rossi lost by just 133 votes after two recounts. He lost against Gregoire in 2008, and lost an attempt to unseat U.S. Sen. Patty Murray by about 119,000 votes in 2010.

“I beat Christine Gregoire by 10 points in 2004, I beat Christine Gregoire by 10 points in 2008,” Rossi said, referring specifically to 8th District results. “I beat Patty Murray by even more than that in 2010.”

Rossi is leading the fundraising race for the 8th District seat. The main Democratic contenders include Kim Schrier, a pediatrician who’s leading the Democratic field in fundraising; Jason Rittereiser, a labor-rights lawyer who grew up in Ellensburg, and Shannon Hader, a doctor and former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention official. All three have made visits to Ellensburg, and took part in a forum in Ellensburg in January.

Rossi was appointed last year to fill a state Senate vacancy in the 45th Legislative District after state Sen. Andy Hill died of lung cancer. He previously served in the state Senate from 1997 through 2003, when he chaired the Ways and Means Committee.

If elected to Congress, Rossi said he plans on addressing agricultural issues and other areas of concern to the district. In an interview, he discussed recent tariffs imposed on China by the Trump Administration.

“I’ve never seen anybody win a trade war,” he said. “I don’t think it’s going to be good for ag. But having said that too, this might just be part of the president’s negotiation style.”

Rossi said he has a commercial real estate business and he can see where the president is coming from, but also understands why it can be disconcerting for people. Rossi said he understands the potential impact on the agricultural community.

“(Trump) wants 100, he asks for 200, he gets 110 and complains about it. That’s his style,” Rossi said. “He kinda shocks people and then he becomes reasonable and that’s generally how he does it, but I’m as worried about it as everyone else is.”

If elected to Congress, Rossi said his positions likely will reflect his record in the state Senate in Olympia, specifically pointing to the budget. He mentioned the recent federal tax cuts as a good thing.

“For everybody here, when you think of a family getting an extra $3,357, that’s a lot of money,” he said. “They can decide what to do with it versus the government deciding what to do with it.”

During his speech, Rossi said there were enough people in the room Saturday to influence the vote.

In the last 8th District election in 2016, Reichert had 64 percent of the votes in Kittitas County to Democrat Tony Ventrella’s 36 percent.