Rossi Announces In Online Video

Dino Rossi formally announced his candidacy in Washington’s GOP Senate primary this morning with an online video asking for support to “defeat an establishment that stands for politics as usual.”

I brought both parties together to balance the budget without raising taxes, while still protecting the most vulnerable in our society.  I did it by seeking out a fiscally conservative majority, rather than a partisan majority.  Now I want to help do the same thing in the other Washington.  It’s going to take common sense, bold leadership, the right vision and values, and the ability to say ‘no’ to the Washington, D.C., establishment and the special interests.

While this marks a very late entry into the primary race, a poll by the University of Washington this week shows a very competitive general election match-up despite a complete lack of campaigning by Rossi (see Neil’s analysis here).

One snag, however: the grassroots activists on the ground have told me they’re angered by Rossi’s long decision making process which has thrown the primary into turmoil over the past few months. The constant “is-he-or-isn’t-he” has stifled fundraising in the already-crowded field, and now that he’s in the race, many aren’t willing to abandon their candidate for what many see as the establishment pick.

Sarah Palin’s endorsement of former NFL player Clint Didier last week certainly raised the stakes (and accentuated the divisions within WSRP circles) in the race, but it all comes down to who can defeat Patty Murray in November.

While I’ve met the other candidates and find some of them to be refreshing conservatives, if none stand out in their ability to retire the “mom in tennis shoes” then I will be casting my vote for Dino Rossi in the August primary.

Follow me on Twitter at @zacholdham