The Herald of Everett, Washington
Customer service  |  Subscribe   |   Log in or sign up   |   Advertising information   |   Contact us
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus The Daily Herald on Linked In HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up  Green editions icon Green editions

Congressional candidate Celis embraces the positive in his life story

SHARE: facebook Twitter icon Linkedin icon Google+ icon Email icon |  PRINTER-FRIENDLY
By Jerry Cornfield
Herald writer
In an online video announcing his campaign for Congress, Pedro Celis acknowledges the audibly unmistakable: 的n case you haven稚 noticed, I知 the guy with the heavy accent.
He痴 right.
Celis, a Republican from Redmond and native of Mexico, can稚 hide it as he talks of why he wants to unseat U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., in the 1st Congressional District this November.
What might seem like an odd opening line is actually a crux of Celis campaign strategy: appeal to voters with his personal story, not his political agenda.
His tale is an engaging one. Celis arrived from Mexico with a bag of clothes, a box of books and an undergraduate degree in hand. In the U.S., he earned a doctorate in computer science and began a career that led him to Washington in 1998 to work for Microsoft.
He retired 18 months ago. At 55, the husband and father of four grown children said he wants to go to Congress to ensure the trail he took is preserved for others to travel.
的 have lived the American Dream, said Celis, who became a U.S. citizen in the early 1990s. Voters 渡eed to know who I am. My life story and the issues I care about all align with what this district is looking for.
But why point out the accent?
的t痴 a charming part of my story, he said with a smile. 的知 not worried about the fact I知 an immigrant. I think it痴 a positive, not a negative.
State and national Republican Party leaders are banking on it and have coalesced behind his candidacy.
The National Republican Congressional Committee identified Celis as a 田ontender in its Young Guns program, opening the way for loads of strategic advice and, potentially, money in coming months.
The Washington State Republican Party is unabashedly promoting Celis and only him on its Web page, though three other Republicans are on the ballot for the August primary.
的知 rather surprised the state party has gone to the extent that it has to pick a favorite, said Republican hopeful Ed Moats of Arlington.
Moats, a self-described 田onservative blade of grass in the conservative grassroots, figures party leaders don稚 want views of conservative candidates injected into the campaign for this seat this cycle.
Caleb Heimlich, executive director of the state party, wouldn稚 address that analysis directly.
In 2012, a conservative Republican, John Koster of Arlington, lost to DelBene, and there痴 no sign the electorate in the district, which includes part of Snohomish County, has greatly changed.
徹ur goal is to defeat Suzan DelBene and elect a Republican to Congress in the 1st C.D., Heimlich wrote in an email. 撤edro has demonstrated through his campaign that the voters are behind him with their individual support and contributions.
Democrats, too, expect Celis to be DelBene痴 opponent this fall.
That痴 why the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee went on the offensive early to tell a different kind of story about Celis. It痴 one in which the highlight is Celis ties with conservative candidates and organizations and what it says about his intentions, if elected.
撤edro Celis has spent his career supporting politicians and organizations with far-right views on social issues that are too extreme for Washington state voters, said Tyrone Gayle of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
That makes it loud and clear this campaign is under way.
Political reporter Jerry Cornfield痴 blog, The Petri Dish, is at Contact him at 360-352-8623 or
Story tags » U.S. Congress elections

More Local News Headlines


HeraldNet Headlines

Top stories and breaking news updates