2020 Election

Dem Candidate Who Attacked Opponent’s Ties to Big Pharma Relies on It for Retirement

Carolyn Long's husband has thousands in pharma shares and pension

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Washington Democrat Carolyn Long has attacked her opponentRepublican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, over her ties to Big Pharma—but Long has a vested interest in major pharmaceutical companies, according to her personal financial disclosures.

Long, a professor at Washington State University Vancouver, has painted Herrera Beutler as a puppet of the pharmaceutical industry, alleging that she hasn't done enough to lower drug costs. But Long's own financial disclosure forms show that her husband has up to six figures in a retirement plan, pension, and depositary shares with pharma giants Pfizer and Sanofi.

"Politicians like Jamie Herrera Beutler run for Congress and the prescription drug industry funds her campaign," Long said in a campaign ad released in late August. "She votes to give those big drug companies big tax breaks and lets them raise prices—and they rake it in. So when it's campaign season again, there's more money to give out, and we get higher prescription drug costs. We've got to put a stop to this."

At the time of the ad's release, Long was well past the due date to turn in her financial disclosure report. In May, Long asked for an extension in filing the forms, which expired on Aug. 13. The forms, however, were not submitted until Sep. 17 after the Washington Free Beacon contacted the campaign inquiring about the report.

The disclosures may have been shielded because of Long's personal reliance upon Big Pharma. The forms show that Long's husband has a retirement plan with Pfizer valued between $15,001 and $50,000. It also shows between $50,001 and $100,000 in pension and $1,001 and $15,000 in American depositary shares with Sanofi. Pfizer and Sanofi are two of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies.

Long's campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

National Democrats are looking to Washington's Third Congressional District as an opportunity to take over the seat Herrera Beutler won by 5 points over Long in 2018. Earlier this year, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee added the district to its top 12 seats to flip for the 2020 elections.

"The unprecedented grassroots energy in Washington’s 3rd Congressional District, combined with Carolyn’s grassroots campaign offer a sharp contrast with a GOP Member of Congress who has lost touch with the voters and listens more to her special interest backers," DCCC chairwoman Cheri Bustos said in an August statement. "This is a top Democratic pickup opportunity in November."

Herrera Beutler has so far outraised Long by nearly $550,000. The incumbent has hauled in $2.9 million to Long's $2.4 million. Despite the push from national Democrats, pollsters believe that the district will likely go again to Herrera Beutler.