Lisa Brown to host Cheney Community Forum


Former EWU professor Lisa Brown is running against Cathy McMorris Rodgers for Congress. Brown will hold a forum on Feb. 11 in Cheney at the Wren Pierson Community Center | Photo courtesy Lisa Brown

By Brandon Cline, Editor in Chief

Former EWU professor and 2018 Democratic congressional candidate Lisa Brown is visiting Cheney on Feb. 11 to host a town hall style Cheney Community Forum.

Brown, a former economics professor at EWU from 1981 to 2001, is challenging Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who has held Washington’s fifth Congressional seat since 2005. McMorris Rodgers is the fourth highest-ranking Republican in the House of Representatives, and the highest-ranking Republican congresswoman.

“There’s a sense that our current congressional representative has become out of touch with the district,” Brown said in an interview with the Spokesman-Review. “I think there is a danger, when you’re in a position for a long time, that you get into that Beltway mentality.”

Most recently, Brown was the chancellor of the Washington State University campus in Spokane, holding the position from 2013 until August 2017. Prior to that, she served in the Washington State Senate from 1997 to 2013, and from 2005 onward she held the position of Senate Majority Leader. During her time as the WSU Spokane chancellor, Brown oversaw the creation of a public medical school in Spokane, as well as the formation of the WSU College of Medical Sciences.

“I gave up my job at WSU so I could do this full time over the next year,” Brown told the Spokesman-Review. “I will be also relying more, probably, on people power, frankly, because it will be hard to match the dollars on the other side.”

Brown announced her candidacy for the seat last August, and since then has raised the most money by a challenger in any of Washington’s 10 Congressional Districts. According to the Federal Election Commission, Brown ended 2017—the halfway point of the 2017-18 election cycle—with $450,933.70 cash on hand, which the Spokesman-Review reports is greater than the total amount raised by the four previous Democratic candidates who challenged McMorris Rodgers.

Brown lists expanding Medicare, lowering prescription drug costs, refinancing and providing relief to student loan debt, protecting Social Security, and protecting voter-approved marijuana legalization from federal interference as some of her biggest priorities if elected to Congress.

The Cheney Community Forum on Feb. 11 will take place at the Wren Pierson Community Center. The event is scheduled to last from 6-7:30 p.m.