State Rep. Doglio joins race for Denny Heck’s 10th Congressional District seat

The crowded race to succeed U.S. Rep. Denny Heck will include a well-known Democratic candidate from Thurston County.

State Rep. Beth Doglio, who has lived in Olympia for 22 years, is entering the race to represent the 10th Congressional District.

“I’m running because the stakes are too high. We have done so much great work in Washington state. I want to bring the kind of work that we have done here to Washington, D.C.,” Doglio said in an interview.

If elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, Doglio said she wants to build on the work she’s done in the state House on climate change. She also said she plans to continue Heck’s work on housing and tackle issues from raising the minimum wage to making sure workers have the right to join unions.

“I am confident we got it covered here in Washington state. But I’m not confident that we got it covered in Washington, D.C.,” she told Thurston County Democrats at an event Saturday.

Heck announced in December that he will not seek re-election this year, saying the discourse in Washington, D.C., left him feeling discouraged. He recently said he does not plan to make an endorsement on a successor.

Doglio, 55, was first elected to the House in 2016. She holds Position 2 in the 22nd Legislative District, which covers part of Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater and northern Thurston County. She was re-elected in 2018.

Her entry in the race increases the number of candidates to nine, according to the Federal Election Commission.

The other Democratic candidates are former Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland; former state Rep. Kristine Reeves of Federal Way; Phil Gardner, a former district director for Heck; and Joshua Collins, a socialist running under the Democratic banner.

The state Republican Party has pointed out that Strickland and Reeves don’t live in the district. It is not a requirement to do so.

The Republican candidates are Rian Ingrim, Don Hewett, Nancy Dailey Slotnick, and Ryan Tate, according to the FEC.

Doglio said her major accomplishments in the state House include last year’s laws to “reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and put us on the path toward a fossil-free future.” She sponsored the bill that became law to set an energy performance standard for commercial buildings over 50,000 square feet. Doglio also supported the measure committing Washington to “100 percent clean electricity” by 2045.

“That’s the kind of thing that I can do in D.C. as well,” she said.

When asked how she thinks the multi-candidate race may shake out, Doglio said she has deep roots in the district, and Thurston County makes up more than half of the primary vote.

“I’ve raised my family in the district. I’ve lived here for the last 22 years. I worked on Congresswoman Jolene Unsoeld’s winning race – it was the Third [Congressional District] then – in 1988. So my relationship with this community dates way back.

“I’m really looking forward to getting to know the parts of Pierce County and Mason County that are in the district more intimately. I think they’ll find in me a true champion for community priority issues,” Doglio said.

Doglio is a senior adviser for Climate Solutions, a nonprofit group with offices in Olympia, Seattle and Portland, and focuses on a “clean energy economy.” She said she is stepping down to make the run for Heck’s seat.