Add at least two more names to the growing list of candidates considering or committed to running for the seat held by U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings, who will retire when his term expires at the end of the year.
State Sen. Sharon Brown, R-Kennewick, told the Tri-City Herald on Friday she’s in the process of forming an exploratory committee to look at running for the seat Hastings held for 10 terms.
Also Friday, Josh Ramirez of Pasco, a project control specialist at Washington River Protection Solutions, said he plans to run as an independent.
Brown completed her first session in Olympia in 2013 after being appointed by Benton County commissioners. She also is a former Kennewick city councilwoman.
“The Tri-Cities has more federal issues than probably any other district in this state. We need a person representing the Tri-Cities that understands the complexity of the issues,” Brown said in an email to the Tri-City Herald.
Ramirez told the paper he’s “90 percent” done putting his campaign together. He plans to file next week to be able to start raising campaign money. Ramirez said he’d planned to challenge Hastings before he announced his retirement, in part because he was frustrated by the government shutdown last year.
“I believe as an independent I am free to represent the people, as opposed to representing the party,” he said. “I can stand up for unity between the parties.”
The two join an increasingly crowded field:
• State Sen. Janea Holmquist Newbry, R-Moses Lake, has formed an exploratory committee.
• Dan Newhouse, former director of the state Department of Agriculture, has announced his interest.
• Franklin County Commissioner Brad Peck says he hasn’t ruled out a run.
• Benton County Commissioner Jerome Delvin, a former state lawmaker, is also considered a potential candidate.
• Clint Didier, a former NFL tight end and tea party activist from Franklin County, said he’ll make a decision by Monday.
• Gavin Seim of Ephrata, a far-right conservative, declared his candidacy in December.