Barlean bows out of race for Congress

Kelly Barlean is out of the race.

Barlean, a second-term Republican in the Washington House of Representatives, announced Friday that he is pulling out of this year's contest for his party's nomination for the 2nd District congressional seat.

Citing fund-raising troubles and a lack of support from the national Republican Party, Barlean said he will serve out his current term in the Legislature, then go back into private law practice.

Barlean said that through July his campaign had raised only about $117,000, not enough, he said, to make a race of it with incumbent Rep. Rick Larsen. So far, Larsen's campaign has raised $1,058,000.

"Realistically, that's just not going to be enough," Barlean said of his comparatively small war chest.

Barlean said the Republican Party's stance on the race makes a run difficult. The 10th District race is not "targeted" by the party, so will not receive much party attention or money, Barlean said.

Still in the race on the Republican side are Norma Smith, a Clinton resident who was aide to former Rep. Jack Metcalf, and Friday Harbor resident Herb Meyer.

Barlean, who practiced law in Everett prior to being elected to state office, said he plans to open or join a private practice in Island County. He said he may return to politics sometime in the future.

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