YAKIMA, Wash. — Dan Newhouse, former director of the Washington State Department of Agriculture, took a shot at ObamaCare in announcing his candidacy for Washington’s 4th Congressional District seat.
“I will work tirelessly to see that ObamaCare is repealed and replaced with a market-based approach which takes government out of the doctor-patient relationship,” Newhouse said in a news release Feb. 20 announcing his Republican candidacy. His campaign kick-off rally the same day at the Yakima Sundome was attended by about 75 supporters.
Clint Didier, a Pasco rancher and former NFL football player, announced his candidacy Feb. 17. Franklin County Commissioner Brad Peck, Pasco, announced his candidacy Feb. 18. Both are Republicans and several other Republicans are considering running. The seat is being vacated by Republican Doc Hastings who announced Feb. 13 that he will not run for an 11th term.
“ObamaCare is an example of how complex government mandates create uncertainty and destroy jobs,” Newhouse said. Because of it employer-provided health care plans are being canceled across the nation and people with individual plans are seeing their premiums rise dramatically, he said.
Newhouse, 58, owns a 600-acre farm near Sunnyside and grows hops, tree fruit, grapes and alfalfa. He has a bachelor of science degree in agricultural economics from Washington State University and is a graduate of the Washington Agriculture and Forestry Leadership Program. He past president of the Hop Growers of Washington and Hop Growers of America.
Newhouse was elected four times to the state House and was recognized as a pro-business legislator. Gov. Chris Gregoire, a Democrat, appointed him director of agriculture in 2009.
“As a legislator and director of a state agency, I was acutely aware that every penny spent came out of the pockets of 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 as fiscally responsible,” Newhouse said in his release.
“As a lifelong resident of the Yakima Valley, I believe that I am well equipped to bring a conservative Central Washington perspective to Congress,” he said.
Water and river systems are vital to the region, there’s been steady improvement in fish runs and removing dams and their renewable power would be “catastrophic,” he said. He pledged to work for better management of water resources, including additional storage, to provide sufficient water and power for communities, agriculture and future development while protecting the environment. He said he would keep pressure on the U.S. Department of Energy to clean up the former nuclear reservation at Hanford.