In a sign that politics abhors a vacuum almost as much as nature, an open seat in Central Washington’s 4th Congressional District has drawn eight candidates with two days left in the state’s filing week.
State Sen. Janéa Holmquist Newbry, R-Moses Lake, on Wednesday afternoon joined six other Republicans and one Democrat seeking to replace 20-year veteran Richard “Doc” Hastings in a district that stretches from Canada to the Columbia River and includes Yakima and the Tri-Cities.
Other Republicans in the race include former legislator and state Agriculture Director Dan Newhouse; rancher Clint Didier, who has run for U.S. Senate and state lands commissioner; Tri-Cities attorney George Cicotte; Rite Aid supervisor Kevin Midbust; videographer Gavin Seim; and economic development specialist Glen Stockwell.
Jamie Wheeler, an in-home care provider who previously announced a campaign on Facebook but had not filed papers with the Federal Election Commission, said Wednesday she would not run.
Estakio Beltran, a former congressional aide, is the lone Democrat who has entered the race.
The state’s nine other incumbent representatives have all filed for re-election and face fewer opponents. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers is the lone Republican in Eastern Washington’s 5th Congressional District thus far, facing a challenge from Democrat Joe Pakootas, who runs the Colville Confederated Tribes business operations, and independent Dave Wilson, a Spokane businessman.
In Spokane County, two District Court judges have challengers. Spokane attorney Aimee Maurer is challenging Judge Randy Brandt for his seat on the bench. District Court Judge Sara Derr is facing a challenge from attorney Chris Bugbee.
In other county races, Democrat Breean Beggs has filed for prosecuting attorney against Republican Larry Haskell to replace retiring Prosecuting Attorney Steve Tucker.
Democrat Amy Biviano has filed for treasurer in what could be a three-way primary. Republican Mary Kuney filed earlier this week and incumbent Republican Treasurer Rob Chase is also expected to file.
Under the state’s primary system, the top two vote-getters in the Aug. 5 primary advance to the general election regardless of party, so it’s possible to have two Republicans or two Democrats on the November ballot.
In legislative races, Democrat Rich Cowan has filed to take on Republican incumbent Sen. Michael Baumgartner in the 6th District Senate race.
Bob McCaslin, son of the late Sen. Bob McCaslin, filed as a Republican to take on appointed Rep. Leonard Christian, a Republican in a 4th District House race.
Two Republicans, Tony Booth, of Colville, and incumbent Brian Dansel, of Republic, filed for the 7th District Senate race.
James Apker, a Libertarian from Mead, filed to take on incumbent Shelly Short, a Republican from Addy, for a 7th District House seat.