Washington 9th District
The misty shores of Puget Sound have seen some of America’s most vibrant economic growth over the past two decades. It has spread south and west from Seattle, over the suburban territory to the outskirts of the once-industrial city of Tacoma. The subdivisions along the sound, which have some of the loveliest views in America, tend to be high-income. But much of greater Seattle’s prime industrial territory lies between the ridges that run north and south inland. Weyerhaeuser, the world’s largest private owner of softwood timber, has its headquarters in Federal Way. Boeing is a major presence in Renton, on the south end of Lake Washington. Its aircraft and electronic-components plants have made it America’s No. 1 exporter for many years. Renton, which gained renown as the home of 1960s guitarist Jimi Hendrix, manufactures 737s, the best-selling commercial jet in history. A host of smaller factories cluster near the rail lines that run from Minneapolis-St. Paul across the Great Plains to Puget Sound.
2008 Presidential Vote
|Cook Partisan Voting Index|
The 9th Congressional District of Washington covers much of this area. It includes Sea-Tac Airport, Burien and Renton, not far south of Seattle, as well as Kent, Des Moines, most of Auburn and Federal Way, farther south in King County. It includes the container port of Tacoma, though most of the rest of that city is in the 6th District. In surrounding Pierce County (the nation’s largest producer of rhubarb), it takes in Edgewood and Puyallup, plus Fort Lewis, the largest Army base in the West, and McChord Air Force Base, home of the C-17. It also includes a part of Thurston County outside the state capital, Olympia, including the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, an important transit point for migratory birds. The district was created after the 1990 census and politically was almost perfectly balanced in the mid-1990s. It elected a Democratic representative in 1992, a Republican in 1994 and a Democrat in 1996. But as the Seattle region trended toward the Democrats, the district has done likewise.