History could be brewing in the 12-way race to succeed Congressman Doc Hastings with just one day to go before the primary election.
If two Republicans finish in the Top Two, it would be the first time in Washington history that two members of the same party went on to the general election in a congressional race.
“That’s never happened since we went to the Top Two,” Secretary of State’s Office spokesman Dave Ammons said.
The state first implemented the Top Two primary in 2008. Since then, a number of local and legislative races have ended with two candidates from the same party but it has never happened in any congressional or statewide race.
Observers say there are five 4th Congressional District candidates with a chance to finish in the Top Two, four of whom are Republicans. Those four include former Department of Agriculture director Dan Newhouse, tea party favorite Clint Didier, health care attorney George Cicotte and state Sen. Janéa Holmquist.
Estakio Beltran of Yakima, a former policy staffer for Sen. Maria Cantwell, is the only Democrat in the race who has reported any fundraising to date. Beltran also has the backing of just about every Democratic leader in the district.
If Democrats can turn out the votes and keep enough people from voting for the only other Democrat in the race, Tony Sandoval, Beltran could make history of his own. No Latino has ever made it to the November ballot in a 4th Congressional District race.
“There’d be drama either way,” Ammons said. “It’s something notable.”
Haven’t voted yet? Click the following links to read some of our previous coverage of the 4th Congressional District race. You can also visit the Yakima Herald-Republic’s elections page to find video interviews with all 12 candidates.
•Regional and special interests surface in 4th District fundraising.
• 4th District hopefuls in race to the Top Two.
• 4th District race draws local, national interest.
• Fact Check: Didier leads in his poll, but electorate far from decided.
• Ethics board investigating Newhouse volunteer.
• 4th District GOP candidates seek to stand out at debate in Richland.
• Congressional forum stokes tea party issues.