4th Congressional Forum: Undecideds look for a fit

4th Congressional Forum: Undecideds look for a fit »Play Video
PASCO, Wash. -- Tri-city voters are aware; they are less than a month away from the August primary. The big ballot item is replacing Doc Hastings in Congress. After 20 years, the congressman is retiring, and 12 candidates have stepped up to take his seat.

“I don't know who to vote for,” said Amy Walker, an undecided voter at Thursday’s 4th Congressional District candidate forum. “I haven't quite made up my mind yet, so I need all the info I can get,” said another undecided voter, Janet Hansens.

When it comes to the 4th Congressional District seat, nothing is in the bag. “I want to see where the candidates stand on the issues, and narrow down the field a bit,” said Walker. There are 12 candidates, so different from one another, they could make up a season of Big Brother. You have the former NFL player, the former child farm worker, a state senator and a 27-year-old who started off his introduction as a stand-up comedian.

“I am single and there’s absolutely only one reason I am up here in this suit, league of women voters,” joked Kevin Midbust. “People like a little bit of controversy, so that’s great. It gets people out and talking about the issues," said Polly Parton, an organizer with the League of Women Voters.

Issues like gun control, immigration and social security were discussed. Each candidate was given a minute to respond. Because all 12 candidates showed up, the forum was broken down into heats of 4.

“It's a great thing to have so many people interested,” said Hansens. For undecided voters, the massive pool of candidates swings from good to the bad. “Overwhelming, that's the main reason I am here,” said Walker. “Normally you can go online and read about them, but there's just too much.”

It's why the League of Women Voter's said Thursday’s forum was crucial. “It's really important that people realize locally their vote is very important,” said Parton. “They always think about their vote for the national issues, but for local issues it can often come down to a few votes. For local votes, people can make a big impact.”

With their votes, the 4th District will choose only two to move on out of the primary, with a strong chance Thursday night swayed many a mind.

“I am ready to listen and make an informed decision,” said undecided voter Joanne Fankhauser.