Will A Second Rep. Newhouse Challenger ‘Split’ GOP Votes?
Around January 27th 2021, 8th District House Rep. Brad Klippert announced he would seek to unseat 4th District Congressional Rep. Dan Newhouse; largely because of Newhouse being one of the "ten" GOP House Reps who voted to support a Democratic led impeachment of President Donald Trump despite him not winning re-election.
That, and other factors, led Klippert to announce his candidacy. Klippert, along with fellow 8th House Rep. Matt Boehnke, are staunch conservative legislators. At the time, the announcement was met with a flood of support, comments and feedback from furious GOP voters.
They were very unhappy with Newhouse supporting what many said was an un-Constitutional impeachment process.
Now, it appears another WA state legislator has thrown their hat in the ring. According to a report in the Franklin Connection Roger Harnack reports 51-year-old businessman Jerrod Sessler of Prosser has also announced his candidacy. This announcement received a lot of attention on the Tri-City Republicans private Facebook page, which has several thousand active members.
Over this last weekend, Harnack reported Sessler announced his campaign, and has set up a website. Sessler also cites the lack of support for Trump in his chief motivation for looking to unseat Newhouse.
According to the Franklin Connection, Sessler is a businessman who served honorably in the Navy, receving a number of awards. He is a cancer survivor; and in 2004 started a business called HomeTask which is a franchise home repair firm.
Like Kilppert, Sessler, if elected, pledges to continue the America first policies; these became well known and practiced under the Trump Administration. They led to a number of large areas of economic growth and recovery by businesses and the economy.
While Sessler's announcement did not gather as much public exposure as Klippert's (partly due to Klippert already being a well known state legislator), he has growing support especially in Prosser where he lives.
While he and Klippert share many seemingly identical views, some are wondering if having two candidates will 'split' the GOP vote.
There have been many instances when having competing yet identical candidates seeking to unseat an incumbent has cancelled each other out.
Perhaps the most recent example of this was in the 2020 primary for WA State Lt. Governor. There were five GOP candidates, with the top three canceling each other out. Had there been widespread support behind one, the could have possibly made the final ballot in November, and challenged the 2 Democrats who ended up competing for the position.
Newhouse is up for re-election in 2022, we shall see what transpires between now and then.
A Peek Inside The New Prosser High School