Hastings endorses Newhouse in 4th District race

Hastings endorses Newhouse in 4th District race »Play Video
RICHLAND, Wash. -- Congressman Doc Hastings finally announced who he hopes will replace him.

He threw his support behind Dan Newhouse Wednesday morning. The ten-term Congressman broke his silence, calling this race "crucial."

It was all smiles as Doc Hastings re-invigorated voters and addressed media at the Richland Community Center. The veteran congressman cited the need for more conservative values in Washington as they approach the next election.

"This election and the next congress is going to be a pretty critical congress. If we gain control of the senate, I think the most important thing we need to do is stay on message," Hastings said.

Newhouse came in second in the primary to challenger Clint Didier. The Yakima farmer says this endorsement will undoubtedly give him a good shot in November.

Reporter: "How's this match against Clint Didier shaping up with this new endorsement?"
Newhouse: "I feel good about my prospects. I think I've got a clear path to victory. I work hard and number two, I work harder. So I don't think it's a bad position to be in."

In a statement, Didier called Newhouse and Hastings "establishment" politicians and suggested their similar looks had them "separated at birth." Didier wrote that he never sought Hastings' endorsement.

It's up to Newhouse to sway the roughly 18 percent of voters who supported a Democrat in the primary if he wants to surpass Didier's base.

The local Democratic party won't publicly endorse a Republican candidate, and will keep focusing on getting their own representatives past the primary.

"Progressive candidates are going to win elections. I don't know that that will be tomorrow, I don't know that that will be in the next election, but we keep up the work and we keep making the arguments, I believe eventually our candidates are going to get a lot more traction." says local Democrat Chairman Jay Clough.

Traction that will have to wait until next time, as a coveted endorsement is handed down.

Hastings said he didn't see much of a difference in the philosophies of Newhouse and Didier. He says his endorsement came down to experience.

The general election is in two months.