An outspoken Republican state representative from the Tri-Cities will challenge Congressman Dan Newhouse in 2022.
State Rep. Brad Klippert, R-Kennewick, confirmed to the Tr-City Herald that he plans to run against the four-term Republican member of the U.S. House.
The Benton County Republican Party posted a letter on Facebook this week about Klippert’s intentions. He’s also started a campaign website.
His announcement comes on the heels of six local Republican leaders demanding Newhouse resign because he was one of 10 Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump following the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Klippert said he initially considered running in 2014 after Rep. Doc Hastings retired, but decided it wasn’t the right time.
Klippert said he’s supported Newhouse and believes he has done good job representing the 4th District, which runs through Central Washington from Okanogan County in the north to Benton County in the south.
But Klippert said several people contacted him after Newhouse’s vote to impeach Trump to say that they couldn’t support the representative and encouraged him to run.
“That is when I decided it was time for me to stand up and step forward,” he said.
Earlier this week a letter signed by the chairs of the Republican parties in Benton, Franklin, Yakima, Grant, Adams and Douglas counties called for Newhouse’s resignation.
“Though your service to the 4th Congressional District has not gone unappreciated, your vote for impeachment was blatantly against the voters’ wishes. As a result, an overwhelming majority of our county constituents are calling for your resignation as our congressional representative,” the letter said.
Newhouse did not step down and a member of his staff confirmed this week that he intends to run for a fifth term in two years.
Newhouse of Sunnyside won reelection in November.
Klippert has spent 12 years in the state House of Representatives, and is a Benton County sheriff’s deputy and a colonel in the Washington State Guard.
He served for 20 years as a helicopter pilot in the Army, Army Reserves or National Guard with three deployments.
“I believe in the greatness of the United States of America and the greatness of our Constitution,” Klippert said in the letter posted by the Republican Party.
This legislative session he has been pushing for more restrictions on the length of emergency proclamations by the Washington state governor.
He also is looking to reestablish a previously eliminated Washington exemption that eases the requirements for certain vaccinations to attend school. Students can still be exempted for religious and health reasons under current law.