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Seattle University Conversations: U.S. Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez
Seattle University Conversations: U.S. Representative Marie Gluesenkamp Perez

She pulled off a stunning upset and flipped Washington’s 3rd Congressional District for the Democrats. But U.S. Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez doesn’t always see eye-to-eye with her own party. In fact, she hired several staff members that worked for her predecessor, Republican Jaime Herrera Beutler. Gluesenkamp Perez justified the hires by saying, “It’s important to have a staff that is reflective of the district.” It’s a district that’s largely rural, and the new congressperson is quick to remind folks she can relate, saying “I get my water from a well and my internet from a radio tower.” It’s those humble connections that helped the 34-year-old auto shop owner edge out a win last November. In a wide-ranging discussion, she affirmed her support for abortion rights telling hosts Professor Larry Hubbell and Joni Balter, “I don’t want a 20-year-old ‘staffer bro’ telling me when I can get a medical procedure and when I can’t.” As for gun rights, she’s a strong supporter of the Second Amendment but hasn’t ruled out increasing the age of purchasing assault weapons to 21. Still, the issue left her and her husband questioning whether she should run at all, saying “When you run for public office your chances of being shot are pretty high. You know, we’ve gotten threats.”  

Presented by Seattle University's Institute of Public Service. 

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