Template:Infobox Congressional Candidate

Darcy Gibbons Burner (born November 12, 1970) is a Democrat from Carnation, Washington. She was a candidate for Template:Ushr in 2006 and 2008, but narrowly lost to Congressman, and former King County Sheriff, Dave Reichert in both elections. She worked for twelve years in high technology including five years at Microsoft as a Lead Program Manager, working on .NET. Burner left Microsoft to attend law school at the University of Washington in 2004. She left her law studies in 2005 to enter her first political race against Reichert.

She is currently the executive director of and the Progressive Congress Action Fund, 501(c) organizations founded by people from the Congressional Progressive Caucus and the progressive community.[1]

Early life, education, and family

Burner was adopted at birth in Alaska and grew up in a Republican household in Nebraska farm country. Her father, Ralph Gibbons, spent 20 years in the Air Force, settling after his military retirement with his wife and five kids in Fremont, Nebraska. Burner was the Civil Air Patrol National Cadet of the Year in 1989.[2]

In high school, Burner was a National Merit Scholar. She worked multiple jobs, both part time and full time, to earn her way through Harvard, graduating in 1996 with a B.A. in computer science with a special field of economics. She also briefly attended law school at the University of Washington in 2004.[3] Her jobs included working for Lotus Development, Asymetrix, and, starting in 2000, as a lead product manager for Microsoft .NET.[4]

Burner married in 1993. She and her husband Michael have a son, Henry, born in 2003. On July 1, 2008, Burner's home on Ames Lake, near Carnation, Washington, was completely destroyed by a fire that investigators believe was caused by a faulty lamp in her son's bedroom.[5]

2006 Congressional election


Darcy Burner had been a volunteer in the unsuccessful 2004 campaign of Dave Ross for Template:Ushr, an open seat, and was a local Democratic activist. In 2006 she became a first-time candidate running for the same seat against freshman Republican U.S. Representative Dave Reichert.

The 8th Congressional has never been won by a Democratic candidate. In 2004, however, Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry won the district with 51% of the vote. She was a top-tier candidate of the Democratic online fundraising website ActBlue,[6] and both national parties spent heavily on the race.[7]

In August 2006, CQPolitics wrote: "though Reichert appears to maintain at least a slight edge in the fall contest, has changed its rating on the race to its more competitive Leans Republican category from Republican Favored."[8] On October 11, they changed their rating to "No Clear Favorite"[9] Multiple polls showed Burner in a virtual tie with Reichert with just weeks left before the election,[10][11][12] and in late October the two major Seattle newspapers split in their endorsements: The Seattle Post-Intelligencer endorsed Burner[13] while the Seattle Times, which had endorsed Democrat Dave Ross in 2004, endorsed Reichert.[14]

It took a week before enough votes had been counted to make the result clear, partly due to the flooding on Election Day that had isolated several communities in the district, and the uneven demographics of the district. Burner conceded at a press conference on November 14, 2006. Dave Reichert's final margin of victory was 7,341, just over 2.9% of the votes.[15]

2008 election

Darcy Burner ran for the 8th district seat again in the 2008 election.

Burner outspent Dave Reichert in her campaign. She raised $3.2 million through the third quarter of 2008 and had $770,988 cash on hand at the end of September.[16] At the same point Reichert had raised $2.3 million and had $1.2 million cash on hand.[17]

During the election cycle she responded to criticisms from the 2006 election that she offered "a muddled message without offering a real solution".[18] Burner said she wanted to focus on getting the U.S. out of Iraq, and made the "Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq"[19] the cornerstone of her campaign. (Burner had ties to the military. Both her father and brother were veterans, and her husband was a "cold war interrogator."[18]) Another primary focus was making health care more affordable.

Though EMILY's List endorsed Burner's campaign in November, 2007, she was briefly challenged in the 2008 Democratic primary by State Senator Rodney Tom.[20] On the morning of September 5, 2007, Tom stepped out of the race, citing Burner's effective mobilization of the 'netroots' to raise money.[21] Tom immediately endorsed Burner, and encouraged his donors to do the same.[21]

She conceded November 7, 2008 after The Associated Press determined that Reichert's lead for the 8th District seat was insurmountable.


Burner describes herself as a "practical progressive".[22] Her positions on various issues include:[23]

  • Reproductive rights: Pro-choice, increased access to family planning services.
  • Education: Supports better pay for teachers, smaller class sizes, expanded access to early childhood education and more support for college or vocational training.
  • Energy and Environment: Supports an energy policy that minimizes U.S. reliance on foreign and domestic oil and helps address global warming concerns. Supports investment in energy-efficient technologies that will help create jobs in Washington State.
  • Foreign policy: Opposed to further overextending the U.S. military. Supports the goals of peace, prosperity, stability, and security in the Middle East, including Israel and Palestine. "Supports United Nations efforts to provide essential family planning and healthcare services to poor nations."[24]
  • Iraq: On March 17, 2008, Burner unveiled "A Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq".[19] It was endorsed by eight other Democratic challengers for Congress, as well as Major General Paul Eaton, former Security Transition Commanding General in Iraq; Dr. Lawrence Korb, former Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Reagan Administration; Capt. Larry Seaquist, former commander of the U.S.S. Iowa and former Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Policy Planning; and Brigadier General John Johns, specialist in counterinsurgency and nation-building. Within a week, the plan received the endorsement of an additional 24 Democratic challengers. As of May 2008 it has over 50 endorsements and been cited on the House floor.[25]
  • Health care: Supports stem cell research.
  • Military benefits: Supports extending military health coverage to families of Reservists and National Guardsmen.
  • Labor: Supports a strong labor movement that can counter-balance corporate power.
  • Ethics: Supports ethics reform to stop the revolving door between lobbyists and Congress.


  1. About Us Progressive Congress Action Fund
  2. "Darcy Burner's interest in service started early". The Seattle PI. 2008-10-28. Retrieved 2008-10-28. 
  3. "Darcy Burner Candidate Bio". The Seattle Times. 2008-10-05. Retrieved 2008-10-29. 
  4. Stone, Adam (2002). "News: .Net: A Problem Or an Answer for Open-Sourcing Demands?". IEEE Distributed Systems Online - Volume 3, Number 3, 2002. IEEE, Inc.. Retrieved 2008-03-01. 
  5. Whitely, Peyton (2008-07-02). "Screams of Burner's son led to family's escape". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2008-07-02. 
  6. "Netroots Candidates". 
  7. Curt Woodward (2006-11-14). "Reichert wins, Burner publicly concedes". Seattle Times. 
  8. Rachel Kapochunas (2006-08-01). "Updated Forecast: Republican Reichert Faces Tougher Fight in Wash.". CQ Politics. 
  9. Rachel Kapochunas (2006-10-11). "GOP’s Reichert Feeling Heat in Wash. 8 as Burner Pulls Even". CQ Politics. 
  10. "New Poll: Burner Beating Reichert". Hominid Views. 2006-09-06. Retrieved 2008-03-01. 
  11. "Results of SurveyUSA Election Poll #10344 - Fierce Fight for GOP To Hold Seat in WA8". SurveyUSA. 2006-09-27. Retrieved 2008-03-01. 
  12. "Results of SurveyUSA Election Poll #10422 - No Movement in Fierce Fight for WA8 House Seat". SurveyUSA. 2006-10-18. Retrieved 2008-03-01. 
  13. "Burner is better". Seattle Post Intelligencer. 2006-10-22. Retrieved 2007-10-14. 
  14. "Reichert in the 8th". The Seattle Times. 2006-10-15. Retrieved 2007-10-14. 
  15. "Washington Secretary of State - 2006 General Election Results". Retrieved 2008-10-28. 
  16. "Darcy Burner for Congress Oct Quarterly FEC Report". 2008-10-15. Retrieved 2008-10-17. 
  17. "Friends of Dave Reichert Oct Quarterly FEC Report". 2008-10-15. Retrieved 2008-10-17. 
  18. 18.0 18.1 Jonathan Martin (2006-10-16). "Burner carefully balances her position on Iraq war". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2008-08-10. 
  19. 19.0 19.1 "A Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq". 
  20. Alex Fryer (2007-07-17). "State Sen. Rodney Tom enters congressional race". The Seattle Times. 
  21. 21.0 21.1 Neil Modie (2007-09-06). "Tom withdraws from 8th District race - Senator endorses former rival Burner". Retrieved 2007-10-14. 
  22. "ActBlue — Help Alan Grayson". Retrieved 2009-06-08. 
  23. "Issues and Positions". Darcy Burner 2008. Retrieved 2007-10-14. 
  24. "Darcy Burner vs. Dave Reichert". Darcy Burner 2006. Archived from the original on 2005-12-17. Retrieved 2007-10-14. 
  25. Inslee on supplemental war spending bill (Television production). Washington, DC. May 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-24. 

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