MOSES LAKE - Several candidates have emerged this week to replace Rep. Doc Hastings, who previously announced he will not seek re-election in November for the state's 4th District.
Sen. Janéa Holmquist Newbry, former NFL player and Tea Party supporter Clint Didier, and Dan Newhouse, former director of the state Department of Agriculture announced this week they will run for the U.S. House seat for the state's 4th District, joining a growing list of potential candidates.
Holmquist Newbry, R-Moses Lake, officially announced Wednesday she will run for Congress after forming an exploratory committee last week.
"The battle for our country is real," she said. "I feel compelled that it's my duty, to continue my efforts to fight for the future of our state and nation. The stakes are just too high."
Holmquist Newbry, R-Moses Lake, was first elected to the State House of Representatives in 2001, and at age 31 in 2006 became the youngest woman ever elected to the State Senate. Holmquist Newbry currently serves as chairwoman of the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee, a position that has made her the face of Senate Republican efforts to improve Washington's business climate such as reforming the workers' compensation system. Holmquist Newbry's success has earned her many accolades including a six-time NFIB Guardian of Small Business award recipient, with a 99 percent career voting record supporting small business.
"Besides continuing my efforts for private sector job creation, I will ardently fight to protect your 2nd amendment rights and American's health care system from President Obama's bloated bureaucracy," Holmquist Newbry said. "In Congress, I will continue to protect you, your wallets and your right."
She added she can work with the other side of the aisle while focusing on her goals.
"I can stand by our core values and still get things accomplished," she said. "The majority of my career I've worked in the minority, so everything I've accomplished I had to work across the aisle, get signed by a Democratic governor."
Holmquist Newbry met with other leaders across the district to assess her chances before making a decision.
"Every day, every hour, more folks are hopping on," she said. "I am humbled by the outpouring support from the 4th congressional district citizens and their faith in my abilities to be an effective representative for our region and help America return to economic prosperity."
Newhouse, a four-term member of the state House of Representatives, announced his decision Thursday after an in-depth discussion with his family.
"Since Congressman Hastings announced his plans to retire, I have recieved countless calls from friends, neighbors and associates encouraging me to run," he said in a press release. "I know that serving in Congress won't be easy and will often be frustrating, but I feel I have a duty to engage in finding solutions. As a lifelong resident of the Yakima Valley, I believe that I am well equipped to bring a conservative Central Washington perspective to Congress. As a legislator and as the director of a state agency, I was acutely aware that every penny spent came out of the pockets of the taxpayers. "I have reduced agency budgets and adopted lean working principles. It is time for Washington, D.C. to follow the same rules that apply to countless local governments and private businesses by being just a fiscally responsible."
Didier, a farmer in Eltopia, issued a press release to formally declare his candidacy. Didier campaigned in 2010 for the U.S. senate and also ran for State Land Commissioner in 2012.
"I think most people in the Fourth District want someone they can trust to push back against the ever-growing nanny state," Didier said. "They are tired of an economy that cannot produce jobs. And they are tired of Republicans who can't seem to get the job done when it comes to things like saying 'no' to higher taxes, big bailouts, never-ending regulations that are stifling our economy, and government sticking their noses into our private decisions, like health care choices. So, now is the time." Didier said he has been overwhelmed by the encouragement he has received during the past few days. "I'm getting calls and support from all over the state. That's a nice place to begin," he said. "And I am pleasantly surprised that Seattle media and some Republican party officials are already calling me the frontrunner."
Gavin Seim, of Ephrata, filed as a candidate in December while several others are considering a campaign for the seat, including state Sen. Sharon Brown, R-Kennewick, and Rep. Charles Ross, R-Naches. Two other candidates have announced they will run including Franklin County Commissioner Brad Peck and Josh Ramirez of Pasco, a Washington River Protection Solutions project control specialist.
The top two vote-getters in the August primary will oppose each other in the November general election.