While she may not have received a majority of the votes in the past, Jamie Wheeler definitely made her voice heard in Southeastern Washington politics.

Wheeler, who hails from Kennewick, announced Wednesday she is withdrawing from the race to see who replaces Doc Hastings in the House of Representatives.

Wheeler cited "unforseen circumstances" among the reasons for withdrawing.  However, she indicated she will still be active in efforts to implement tax reform, abolish the IRS, and other related causes.

Wheeler, who received support from the Tri-Cities TEA Party, previously ran in the August primary against Doc in 2012, receiving 11% of the votes, just over 11,500, a very respectable total for a grassroots candidate.    Doc won the primary with 59% of the vote, while Democratic candidate Mary Baechler received 26%.   Democrat Mohammad Said received 2.9% of the ballots cast. Hastings and Baechler faced off in the November general election, with Hastings cruising to another term in the House.

Wheeler becomes the first candidate to officially announce they are withdrawing from the race.   Several Democratic candidates announced they were entering, but they haven't officially filed with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) and little has been heard from them.   Former WA State Agriculture Secretary Dan Newhouse and Tri-Cities Attorney George Cicotte have officially filed on the GOP side, and are running very visible and aggressive campaigns, as is Franklin County Republican Party Chair Brad Peck.

On the Democratic side, Estakio Beltran of Yakima appears to be the front-runner, having picked up the vast majority of endorsements, including both the Yakima and Benton County Democratic Party nods.