The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Lou Marzeles

Hastings says he won't run again


U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings—who for most of his 20 years in Congress represented Klickitat County—announced Thursday his intention to retire.

“Two decades ago, the people of Central Washington first voted to place their trust in me to represent them in Congress,” Hastings said in his retirement announcement. “In the nine subsequent elections, I’ve been humbled to have been given the privilege to serve as their common sense voice and to work for solutions to improve our local communities and pursue a better, brighter future for our Nation. It is with deep appreciation for that privilege that I announce that this will be my final term in office and that I will not run for reelection in November.”

Hastings turned 73 on Feb. 7 and said he still has the ability and seniority to serve Central Washington. But, he added, “It is time for the voters to choose a new person with new energy to represent them in the people’s House.”

Hastings represented Klickitat County until a 2012 redistricting moved district lines.

Hastings’ successor in representing the county, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, issued a statement on his retirement.

“One of Doc’s favorite quotes is, ‘It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you don’t care who gets the credit,’” Herrera Beutler said. “It’s impossible to overstate Doc’s influence in the House, but unlike a lot of politicians he doesn’t run to a microphone to brag about it. Doc has been incredibly generous to me with his wisdom and his time, and I truly value his friendship. He’s offered the steady guidance and leadership one would expect from the dean of the Washington’s Republican delegation. No one stands more firmly on their principles than Doc, yet he maintains a kindness and civility that has brought people together and helped him accomplish a great deal for Washington state.”

The Washington State Democrats also issued a statement, this one of biting criticism. Jaxon Ravens, Chair of the Washington State Democratic Party, said in it, “Whereas Sen. Patty Murray, Sen. Maria Cantwell, and Washington’s congressional Democrats fight every day for Washingtonians, Rep. Doc Hastings has ascended the party ranks of a dysfunctional and irresponsible Republican Congress. Hastings is just the latest proof that House Republicans can no longer defend this reckless Republican Congress that stacks the deck against the middle class. This began with his broken pledge in 1994 to run for re-election only twice. As Chair of the House Ethics Committee, he covered up for corrupt Party leadership and blocked investigation of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay… Time after time, Doc Hastings has chosen his Party over the people.”


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