The dynamics change for WA's 4th Congressional District race with last-minute bid

It's a Republican's race when it comes to Washington's 4th Congressional District. 

Initially, it looked like the race was between long-time incumbent Dan Newhouse and Navy veteran Jerrod Sessler. But this week, a familiar name entered the arena, changing the dynamic of the race: Tiffany Smiley announced her bid on Monday

Newhouse told FOX 13 that he welcomes Smiley to the race and respects the democratic process. But he also says he stands confident in the job that he's done so far as the election nears.

Sessler said Smiley's last minute bid was hurtful and offensive to Republicans who have been campaigning and working hard to get him in office. He also says it's offensive to former President Trump who has put his energy behind him.

Washington's 4th Congressional District represents a large area of Central Washington.

It includes Yakima, Okanogan, Grant, Douglas, Benton, and Klickitat; and parts of Franklin and Adams counties.  Yakima and Tri-Cities are pivotal areas in the district. District 4 is considered to have the most conservative constituents in Washington.

As the Aug. 6 primary approaches, FOX 13 spoke with all three candidates as they lobby voters on why they are the best for the position. The top two will move on to the general election in November.

Who are the candidates for WA's 4th District? 

Dan Newhouse

Newhouse has served the district since 2015. 

He serves on the Appropriations Committee, which is the most powerful committee in Congress that has jurisdiction on critical legislative issues. Newhouse also serves on a select committee on China to face challenges posed against the US by the Chinese government.

Newhouse says several of his priorities include tackling inflation, high crime, fentanyl crisis and the Hanford site. 

He made headlines as being one of small minority of Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump in 2021 after the Insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. He told FOX 13 that he doesn't regret his vote and said he made the right choice for the country with the information he was given at the time. 

If re-elected, he would be the most senior Republican in their delegation. 

Learn more about Newhouse here. 

Jerrod Sessler

Sessler, a Navy veteran and former NASCAR driver, has the official endorsement of the Washington State Republican Party and former President Donald Trump. 

He told FOX 13 that incentives are the most important thing and that opportunities are what gives us incentives in America. He believes in less government and says anyone representing the 4th district should reflect the conservative base and their needs. He criticized Newhouse for voting in line with Democrats too many times.

When asked about bipartisanship, Sessler says he has no interest in being bipartisan with people who hate America and hate American values.

Sessler told FOX 13 that he's concerned about the open border, high crime and crushing regulations on small businesses and farmers. Those issues will be a priority and so will upholding the Constitution.

 His website also says he opposes the teachings of critical race theory and gender ideology in classrooms. 

Learn more about Sessler here. 

Tiffany Smiley 

You may recognize Smiley's name from a previous election-- she ran against Democratic incumbent Sen. Patty Murray for a seat on the U.S. Senate representing Washington State. Murray won re-election by a little over 440,000 votes.

Smiley told FOX 13 that she brings 20 years of experience taking on the government from the outside-- working as a veterans advocate. 

On her Facebook page, she wrote: "Why am I running? Because we need someone in Congress who can be a reliable vote to help get President Trump’s agenda through Congress - something that would not be possible with the current WA-04 representation."

She says if Trump were to win the election, it would be a problem for Newhouse since he voted to impeach the former president. She believes it will make Newhouse less effective in Congress. She says she could work with not just Trump, but Democrats to get results.

She told FOX 13 she wants to prioritize ‘American energy independence,’ saying it'll lower the cost of gasoline and diesel. She also wants to focus on the border crisis and stopping the flow of fentanyl into the U.S. She says she wants to protect the dams and work on ways to help farmers.

Learn more about Smiley here. 


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