Russell Drops Out of Congressional Race, Will Run for Legislature - Updated 2 p.m.

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    Washougal City Councilman Jon Russell, a Republican running for Congress, has announced that he is withdrawing from the federal race and will instead run for the legislative seat held by fellow Republican congressional hopeful Jaime Herrera.

    Russell, who announced his candidacy for Congress in July, five months before longtime Rep. Brian Baird set off a flurry of interest by saying he would retire, cited difficulties raising money for the race in the announcement he made on his Facebook page Tuesday afternoon.

    He urged his supporters to rally behind Herrera.

    “I have confidence in her to make the right decisions on our behalf in Washington D.C.,” he said.

    Russell is the second congressional hopeful to drop out of the race this week.

    State Rep. Deb Wallace, a Vancouver-area Democrat, said difficulties raising money during the busy legislative session made her decide.

    Seven candidates remain for the position representing Southwest Washington in Congress.

    The Republicans are David Castillo, state Rep. Jaime Herrera and ex-Marine David William Hedrick of Camas.

    On the Democratic side are former state Rep. Denny Heck, state Sen. Craig Pridemore, peace activist Cheryl Crist and Vancouver resident Maria Rodriguez-Salazar.

    According to a Feb. 13 straw poll of Cowlitz County Republicans, Russell was a distant second in GOP support. He earned the support of 7 percent of Cowlitz County Republican activists, compared with 88 percent for Herrera. Castillo was third with 5 percent support.