Weyerhaeuser kin, a combat veteran who antes $500,000 to own campaign, makes congressional election a race

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TACOMA — A great-great-grandson of lumber baron Frederick Weyerhaeuser has entered the race for Congress in the 6th District to succeed departing Rep. Norm Dicks.

Bill Driscoll joins several other Republicans taking on state Sen. Derek Kilmer of Gig Harbor, who is a Port Angeles native and the sole announced Democrat.

Driscoll, a Republican and Marine Corps veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, said he will donate $500,000 to his own campaign — which puts his campaign war chest far above those of declared Republican candidates Doug Cloud of Gig Harbor and Jesse Young of Tacoma, and toe-to-toe with Kilmer.

It promises a lively primary election — and probably the “top two” general election in the fall — for the congressional seat being vacated by Dicks, who has held it since 1977.

The 6th Congressional District includes all of Clallam and Jefferson counties and extends southeast into Tacoma.

In addition to his two military hitches, Driscoll has worked in the timber industry.

His great-great-grandfather founded the Weyerhaeuser Co. in 1901.

Driscoll has worked in the family business and in other forest-products companies.

“Career politicians have had their chance and failed,” Driscoll said in a statement announcing his candidacy Monday.

“It’s time for new leaders who’ll rise above partisan bickering and demand results.”

Driscoll served in the Marine Corps in the 1980s, returned to the timber industry, and then was recommissioned in the Marines in 2006 and served combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In his announcement Monday, Driscoll said his business and military focuses would carry over to Capitol Hill if elected.

“In Congress,” Driscoll said, “I will focus on real job growth, balancing the federal budget, providing a strong national defense, and keeping our promises to those who’ve served our country in uniform.

“Politicians talk about these issues all the time, but I learned in business and the military that results are what matter.”

If campaign fundraising is a barometer, Driscoll’s $500,000 contribution to his own campaign aligns him with Kilmer, who said three weeks ago that he raised $358,039 in one month.

“We estimate that he’s approaching half a million dollars by now,” Driscoll said of the state senator.

“I’m investing $500,000 in my campaign, which should bring us even with Sen. Kilmer.”

Cloud and Young fundraising are far behind, based on April campaign finance statements.

Young, an economic development consultant, reported $106,000 in his campaign coffer, and Cloud, a Tacoma attorney and perennial Dicks foe since 2000, reported $2,900.

Two other Republicans — David “Ike” Eichner, a Tacoma accountant, and Stephan Brodhead, a Bremerton businessman — have also indicated that they might run.

Official election filing won’t start until May 14 and last five days.

Driscoll and his wife, Lisa, a University of Washington-Tacoma professor, live in Tacoma with their two children.

Last modified: April 30. 2012 7:17PM
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