Nov. 7, 2012 – 12:19 a.m.

113th Congress: Denny Heck, D-Wash. (10th District)

Denny Heck lost a bid for Congress in 2010 but turned out to be a better fit for a new district that includes Olympia and parts of Tacoma. The former state House majority leader is viewed as a thoughtful, no-nonsense legislator whose generally liberal views should fit the district.

Heck touts his credentials as a business-builder and backs creating jobs through billions of dollars in new federal infrastructure spending on roads, bridges and water projects. With ports in Tacoma and Olympia factoring into trade policies, he also supports continued funding of the Export-Import Bank to help finance overseas sales of U.S. goods — a move that benefits Boeing Co., the state’s biggest employer.

He wants the Energy Department to push for a comprehensive “smart grid” that uses information technology to gather data about suppliers and consumers to help conserve and use energy more efficiently. He also links economic growth to enhanced education and training, supporting expanded funding of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the Head Start early childhood program and efforts to retrain workers at community colleges.

Following his time in public service, Heck co-founded Intrepid Learning Solutions, which offers business-oriented education and training, and helped start several technology and communications concerns, including TVW, the state’s public affairs television network. He has a creative streak, self-publishing a mystery novel and writing and performing in the one-man play “Our Times.”