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Races heating up for general election

Congressman Doc Hastings, a Republican from Pasco, will have a challenger in the Fourth District congressional contest in this fall's election.

The challenger is George Fearing, a Richland Democrat. Fearing, who maintains a law practice, has lived in the Tri-Cities for the past 25 years.

Hastings filed for his re-election bid on Monday of this week and Fearing on Wednesday. The district covers portions of 10 counties, including Yakima.

There are races in the making for both of the Lower Valley's 15th district State representatives, Bruce Chandler and Dan Newhouse.

Chandler, a Republican from Granger, filed for a re-election bid for his Pos. 1 seat on Tuesday, June 3. His opponent will be Democrat John (Jobs) Gotts of White Salmon, who filed on Wednesday, June 4.

Newhouse, a Republican from Sunnyside, filed to retain his Pos. 2 seat in Olympia on Monday of this week. His opponent will be Tao Berman, a Democrat from White Salmon, who also filed for office on Monday.

This fall's election cycle will feature the top-two primary. In this format all contests with three or more candidates will have a primary in which the top two vote-getters, regardless of party affiliation, advance to the general election in November. As a result, candidates are not listed as Democrat or Republican, but as having a party preference.

A top two primary, for example will be held for the Yakima County commissioner Dist. 1 seat currently held by Ron Gamache, a Yakima Republican. Others filing for the seat are Jesse Farias, a Democrat from Wapato, and Kevin Bouchey, a Republican from Toppenish.

Dist. 2 incumbent Mike Leita is the only candidate so far for that county commissioner post.

If no other candidates in the other races file today, Friday, the two running in each contest will face off in November.

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