Forum Saturday in Federal Way for District 9 Congress candidates

Five candidates for U.S. Congress District 9 will take the stage in a forum that runs 2-4 p.m. Saturday, July 21, at Federal Way High School's little theater, 30611 16th Ave. S. The audience will be able to submit questions to candidates.

The district is Washington's first majority-minority congressional district, and is held by Democratic Rep. Adam Smith. The redrawn 9th District stretches from Bellevue and Mercer Island in the north to Tacoma in the south.

The 9th District is now comprised of 50.3 percent "non-white" residents. The map for legislative districts was redrawn to make room for the new 10th District in the Olympia area. The new district was created because more than one million new residents have moved to Washington since 2000.

Candidates challenging Smith for the position are Jim Postma (Republican), Dave Christie (Democrat), Tom Cramer (Democrat) and John Orlinski (Republican).

The top two candidates in the primary election will move on to the general election in November.

Here is more information about the candidates:

• Adam Smith (Democrat): Smith was first elected in 1996 to the U.S. House of Representatives. He has served on the House Armed Services Committee in representing a district with a large military population. Smith has had direct involvement with local issues such as the I-5 Triangle Project and potential flooding of the Howard Hanson Dam. lists Smith's campaign cash on hand at more than $509,000.

• Jim Postma (Republican): The Tacoma entrepreneur lost to incumbent Adam Smith in 2008, garnering 35 percent of the vote. According to his website at, Postma is a former U.S. Air Force officer, simulation and rocket engineer, and businessman involved with investments and consulting.

• Dave Christie (Democrat): According to his website, Christie has campaigned with Lyndon LaRouche and the slate of LaRouche Democrats to restore the original provisions of the Banking Act of 1933, also known as the Glass-Steagall Law. "I choose to run as a Democrat, in order to fight for a return to the policies of Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy," he says at His campaign address is in Shoreline.

• Tom Cramer (Democrat): Cramer ran against U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert in 2010 for the District 8 seat, and is running in the newly configured District 9, which now includes parts of the Eastside. The candidate from Redmond says on his website, "I have been an educator and an administrator, a rehabilitation director and a small business owner for 15 years. I've run a nationwide political action committee for the last eight years that worked to elect progressive Democratic candidates to Congress."

• John Orlinski (Republican): According to his website, Orlinski is based in Bellevue. He taught political science in his native Poland before moving to the United States. Orlinski later earned a master's degree in international studies. He has worked as a financial planner for the Metropolitan Insurance Company, and in 1991, he started working as a refugee social worker for the DSHS in Bellevue. Info:


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