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Another candidate has announced plans to run for Washington state’s 8th District seat in Congress, bringing the total to eight Democratic challengers to incumbent U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert in 2018.

The top two candidates in the Aug. 7, 2018, primary will advance to the general election in November. The 8th District includes the eastern portions of King and Pierce counties, Chelan and Kittitas counties.

Reichert, the only Republican candidate, is serving his sixth term representing the 8th District. He was first elected to Congress in 2004.

Before joining Congress, Reichert served in the Air Force, as a police officer and King County Sheriff. He spent more than 30 years with the King County Sheriff’s Office, and was the head of the task force which solved the Green River serial murder case.

The Democratic candidates are Kim Schrier of Sammamish, Poga Ahn of Seattle, Toby Whitney of North Bend, Brian Kostenko of Milton, Jason Rittereiser of Issaquah (a former Ellensburg resident), Mona Das of Renton, Tola Marts of Issaquah and Thomas Cramer of Redmond.


Sammamish resident Kim Schrier filed with the Federal Elections Commission Aug. 2 and is the latest candidate to file. She has been pediatrician at Virginia Mason Medical Center for 16 years, since 2001, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Schrier has a B.A. in astrophysics from the University of California Berkeley and a doctorate degree from U.C. Davis School of Medicine. She did her residency in pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine.


Seattle resident Poga Ahn filed as a Democratic challenger to Reichert on March 10. Ahn is the general manager of Aluma Systems, a concrete forming and shoring firm.

Ahn has a B.S. in systems engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point and is attending the Haas School of Business at the University of California in Berkeley. He is anticipated to receive an MBA in business administration and management in 2019, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Ahn served for five years as an executive officer and brigade future operations officer in the U.S. Army, later serving again for more than a year as a battery commander.


North Bend resident Toby Whitney filed as a Democratic challenger on July 13. Whitney has been the manager of software development at Amazon for more than three years, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Previous positions include nine years at Microsoft as a group program manager for MSN groups, social networking and file systems and a multiple product unit manager for Windows security, four years as a legislative director and fellow at the U.S. House of Representatives, a senior policy adviser for the Center for American Progress’ Enough Project and two years as an affiliate professor at the University of Washington Jackson School of International Studies for two years.

Whitney has a B.A. in political science and English from Syracuse University and a master’s degree in social sciences from the University of Chicago.


Milton resident Brian Kostenko filed as a Democratic challenger June 5 and refiled with an update June 12. Kostenko has been a business and planning analyst Boeing since 2011, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Kostenko has also worked as an auditor at DCAA for two years and an accountant at Weyerhaeuser for four years.

Kostenko has a B.A. in business administration, accounting, finance, risk management and insurance from the Washington State University College of Business and Economics.


Current fundraising data from the Federal Elections commission shows fundraising for Thomas Cramer at $8,616 from April 1 to June 30, Tola Marts at $42,480 from April 1 to June 30, Poga Ahn at $3,904 from Jan. 1 to June 30 and Reichert at $421,705 from Jan. 1 to June 30. There was no financial information available from the Federal Elections Commission about the other candidates.

Further information about other candidates can be found in a previous article.


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