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The Nov. 5th ballot: 1st Congressional District

1st Congressional District A highly visible campaign for the 1st District Congressman is being waged between incumbent Republican Rick White and his Democrat challenger, Jeff Coopersmith.

Rick White

Rick White Age: 42.
Party: Republican.
Occupation: Bankruptcy attorney.
Family: Wife, Vikki; three daughters and one son, ages 5 to 12.

   Rick White says he ran two years ago because it was time to take Congress back from career politicians.
   "That's why I voted for term limits and promised to serve no more than five terms in the House," he said."My overall goal is to make our government smaller, fairer, and more efficient."
   White says he was proud to vote for the first balanced budget to pass Congress in a generation.
   "But balancing the budget one year doesn't keep Congress from busting the budget the next. That's why I've voted for a balanced budget amendment and to give the president the line-item veto," he said.
   White said he also worked to reform Congress. "This is one of the most important elections of our generation," said White. "When I first ran for office in 1994, the political experts said that it was impossible to balance our budget because no one would be willing to make the tough choices that are needed to get our federal spending under control.
   "If the people who took those votes--Democrats and Republicans--are voted out of office, it will prove that the political experts were right and it will be another generation before anyone else takes these votes again. We simply can't afford to wait that long," he said.

Jeff Coopersmith

Jeff Coopersmith Age: 36.
Party: Democrat.
Occupation: former deputy prosecutor.
Family: Wife, Karen O'Leary.

   Jeff Coopersmith is a former King County deputy prosecutor who says he is proud of his record of prosecuting arsonists, rapists, and murderers. His priorities include improving schools, protecting the environment, and ensuring affordable healthcare.
   "Our country is only as strong as its schools," said Coopersmith. "The federal government plays a small, but crucial, role in maintaining their quality. We must reduce school bureaucracy, limit class size, and increase academic standards."
   Coopersmith supports full funding of Headstart and school lunch programs, plus making college loans more affordable.
   His district borders Puget Sound, Lake Washington and Hood Canal, he pointed out, and he said he wants to make sure "we are not the last generation to enjoy the beauty and bounty of the Northwest."
   "It is essential for our local economy, as well as for our quality of life, that this heritage be protected. We must impose stricter safeguards to ensure that toxic waste is not being dumped into our waters and that polluters pay for the damage they cause. We must repeal the Salvage Timber Rider and end the logging of 300-year-old trees to guarantee that the environment we all care for will be here for our children," Coopersmith said.