Democrat eye upset in conservative Washington state district

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — In 1994, Democratic U.S. Rep. Tom Foley of eastern Washington state became the first House Speaker to lose an election bid since the Civil War. People in eastern Washington may be poised to oust another legislative leader this year.

Republican U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who is fourth in House leadership and the highest-ranking woman in the GOP, faces a formidable challenge in the 5th Congressional District from Democrat Lisa Brown.

The 5th is one of three U.S. House races in Washington state getting national attention as Democrats try to gain control of the chamber. Democrats also are mounting strong challenges for two other Republican-held districts — the 8th, which stretches from Seattle’s eastern suburbs across the Cascade Mountains and the 3rd, in southwestern Washington.