May 25, 1998
Ruderman scraps race against White
by Woodinville Weekly staff
REDMOND--Redmond Democrat Laura Ruderman withdrew from a national race last week and announced her candidacy for a state House of Representatives post. Ruderman, a 27-year-old former Microsoft manager, will run against state Rep. Bill Backlund (R-Redmond) this fall. In March, she had announced her bid to unseat Rep. Rick White (R-Bainbridge Island) from his 1st Congressional District job. Ruderman cited party unity in her change of heart. "We were prepared to run hard, win a primary, and defeat Rick White in November," Ruderman said in a press release last Tuesday morning. "However, I now believe that it is in the best interest of the Democratic Party....to unite to overcome the Republicans and the narrow special interests they represent."
Two weeks ago, former U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee announced he was running against White. Inslee and Ruderman would have battled in the primaries to get a shot at him. Inslee said it would have been a tough race against Ruderman and endorsed her against Backlund. He said he was looking forward to a "successful year for both of us."
Ruderman immediately went on the offensive, attacking Backlund and the Republicans. "While the people of Washington State want results in solving our transportation crisis and improving our schools, the Republicans in the State Legislature have instead been focusing on their mean-spirited, right-wing agenda. My opponent, Rep. Bill Backlund, has been one of the worst, ignoring the pressing needs of the people of the 45th District."
Backlund is an orthopedic surgeon who has represented the district which includes Woodinville, Duvall, Carnation, Redmond and Kirkland since his appointment to the legislature in 1994. In 1996, he defeated Democrat Dave Asher to return to the State House.
Ruderman serves on the board of directors of Washington Community Alliance for Self Help, a non-profit organization providing low-income women with credit and business training. She is a graduate of Wesleyan University and lives in Redmond. Democratic leaders banded around Ruderman and Inslee. "We are fortunate to have two such fantastic candidates this election in Laura and Jay," said Paul Berendt, chairman of the state Democratic Party. "Now we can unite in our efforts to win in November."