Former senior CDC official to run for Congress

By Joel Connelly, SeattlePI

Dr. Shannon Hader feels it’s time for Washington to have a doctor in the House.

Until recently a senior official at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, marked for budget cuts by the Trump Administration, Hader is running as a Democrat for Congress in Washington’s 8th Congressional district.

Hader, an Auburn native, is seeking the seat of Republican Rep. Dave Reichert, retiring after seven terms in Congress.

Hader is the former director of the Division of Global HIV & TB at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Trump administration’s 2018 budget proposed to reducethe CDC’s budget by $1.2 billion or 17 percent.

She also worked for three years as director of the HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD and TV Administration at the District of Columbia Department of Health. Hader served a fellowship on the health policy staff of Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass.

“Right how, the kind of values I grew up with, and have spent my life working for, are being threatened,” Hader said in announcing. “Science-based decision-making is under assault at NASA, at the EPA and the CDC, where I felt its effects directly.

“We need a representative in Washington who will stand up in defense of science and I am ready to do just that.”

Six Democrats are already seeking the 8th District seat. It is a top House pickup opportunity for the party, being one of 23 districts held by a Republican that were carried by Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.

The Democratic Party has launched a “flip the 8th” campaign to recruit and train volunteers for the fall election.

Republicans have settled on their candidate, former State Sen. Dino Rossi. Rossi has run for statewide office three times, narrowly losing bids for Governor and U.S. Senate. He carried the 8th District in all three elections.

Hader was the first in her family to graduate from a four-year university. She received a bachelor’s degree from Stanford, as well as medical and public health degrees from Columbia.

“I grew up learning from people who worked hard, took care of the people around them, and tried to make this world a better place,” said Hader. “My father was a Navy aircraft mechanic, and a Boeing guy. My mother taught at community centers. It’s their influence that made me who I am.”