The bigger they are, the harder they hold on to office.
For U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Pasco, unofficial results show the nine-term congressman winning re-election in resounding fashion over Democratic challenger Mary Baechler of Yakima, 71 percent (67,954 votes) to 29 percent (28,183).
“Our nation faces many pressing challenges and I look forward to supporting policies that create jobs, lower government spending, and get our economy back on track,” Hastings said in a prepared statement.
Baechler conceded defeat Tuesday night, expressing disappointment in the results but thanking her supporters for the encouragement she received around the district.
“I’ve loved running for office,” Baechler said. “I think the Yakima Valley is one of the most awesome places, and I think voters really want us to work across the aisle.”
Hastings will serve his 10th term representing the 4th Congressional District. He won his first in 1994, beating Rep. Jay Inslee of Selah, who later moved to Western Washington and was elected seven times from the 1st Congressional District before resigning earlier this year to run for governor.
Hastings lost his first bid to Inslee in 1992. Since then, Hastings has regularly faced little adversity in getting re-elected.
“I’m honored by the overwhelming support voters in Central Washington have given me for my work on their behalf,” Hastings said.
Baechler, a former community organizer for the Yakima-based Central Washington Progress, said she will continue to stay involved in political activism around the district. Baechler said it was too early to discuss future bids for political office.
“I would definitely leave that door open,” Baechler said. “I’m really committed to working with voters and encouraging Doc Hastings to retire at some point.”
Hastings is expected to remain chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, a position he has held since 2010 and used frequently as a pulpit for denouncing President Obama’s environmental policies and pushing for greater exploration of oil and gas.