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17th District — Rep. Tim Probst (D): Probst is the only Democrat left representing the Clark County (Vancouver) suburbs. The 17th is a Republican district that became a bit more Republican with redistricting. Probst survived a strong challenge in 2010, but how long can he hang on in a part of the state that is clearly trending Republican? House Republicans are looking hard for a candidate.
28th District — both seats: We discussed the 28th's highly competitive nature in the Senate section. Republicans came close against Democratic Reps. Troy Kelley and Tami Green in 2010 (47 percent and 48.5 percent for their respective challengers) The candidate situation is still being sorted out, but it is likely that one or both of these seats will be targeted by the GOP again this cycle.
Potentially competitive Democratic seats
1st District — both seats: Again, we discussed the 1st in the Senate section. Republicans came close in both open seat House races in 2010 (47 percent and 49 percent). If they recruit strong candidates, they may challenge for one or both of these seats again.
44th District — Rep. Hans Dunshee: Dunshee has been frustrating Republicans since 1992, consistently getting re-elected in a south Snohomish County suburban district that leans Republican. The Republican candidate received 48 percent against Dunshee in 2010, and the GOP is likely to try and take another run at Dunshee in 2012. Can they find a strong candidate?
31st District — Rep. Chris Hurst: The 31st district is made up of second-ring south King and east Pierce county suburbs, such as Enumclaw and Bonney Lake, and is a solid Republican district. The 31st is so Republican the Democrats didn’t even contest an open seat House race here in 2010. Hurst is a leader of the moderate road-kill Democrats and does everything he can to distance himself from his party and work with Republicans in Olympia and in his district. So far it has worked, but can he survive if the Republican leadership finds and funds a strong candidate against him?
47th District — Rep. Pat Sullivan: The 47th is another competitive south King County district made up of parts of Kent, Auburn, and Covington. The 47th leans very slightly Republican. The GOP defeated an incumbent Democratic Senator and a veteran D House member here in 2010. The surviving Democrat is Pat Sullivan, the House Majority Leader. Sullivan is popular, but a strong opponent could put his seat in jeopardy. The House Republicans are looking for just such an opponent.
26th District — Rep. Larry Seaquist: The 26th is another Republican-leaning district sending Ds to Olympia. The district covers parts of Pierce and Kitsap counties, including Gig Harbor, Port Orchard, and downtown Bremerton. Seaquist is a popular retired former naval officer who survived with 52 percent in 2010. His GOP opponent, Doug Richards, is off and running again. Is Seaquist in danger or was 2010 the GOP high-water mark?
Potentially competitive Republican seats
25th District — both seats: As we discussed in the Senate section, Pierce County’s 25th Legislative District is clearly trending Republican. But the GOP has to defend an open seat (Rep. Dammeier is running for the Senate) and freshman Rep. Hans Zeiger, who won by 47 votes in 2010. These two seats might be the best targets the Ds have to increase their majority.
47th District — Rep. Mark Hargrove: As we discussed above, the 47th leans very slightly Republican. In 2010, Hargrove defeated a severely politically wounded Democratic House veteran, Geoff Simpson. Hargrove is considered a social conservative and Democrats believe he is too conservative for this suburban district. Will they make a strong run at taking this seat back?
5th District — open seat: GOP Rep. Glenn Anderson is running for Lieutenant Governor. The 5th is a Republican-leaning east King County suburban district centered on the city of Issaquah. The GOP has a strong candidate in Chad Magendanz, president of the Issaquah School Board. Winning here would be difficult for the Ds, but they may make the attempt.
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