There’s a Tea Party vs. GOP Establishment Battle Brewing in an Unlikely Place

A Republican will win Washington state’s fourth congressional district seat in November. That’s not a prediction, but a fact.

Washington state fourth congressional district candidate Dan Newhouse will face fellow Republican Clint Didier in the general election. (AP Photo/Yakima Herald-Republic, Gordon King)

Former NFL player Clint Didier, who won two Super Bowl rings with the Washington Redskins, is a Tea-Party conservative. He will be facing former Republican state legislator and agriculture director Dan Newhouse.

So in one of the bluest states in the country, voters in November will decide between a so-called establishment Republican and a Tea Party Republican, the type of contest that typically only occurs well before the summer.

Unlike most states, where primaries are party nominating contests, Washington has a “top two” primary system, assuring the two candidates with the most votes in a primary face off in the general election, whatever their political party. Despite the law, this is the first time in the state’s history that a congressional election has been between two Republicans, the Seattle Times reported.

Didier and Newhouse were the two top finishers in a race with a dozen different candidate in the rural Washington district that Republican Rep. Doc Hastings represented for 10 terms, according to the Times.

The top Democrats in the race were Estakio Beltran, a former aide to Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), and political activist Tony Sandoval, but neither reached the top two spots.

The 59-year-old Newhouse is a Yakima, Washington, farmer, a former state legislator and was former Gov. Chris Gregoire’s agriculture director. He has received most of the endorsements from Republican leaders in the state, according to the Times.

The 55-year-old Didier is an Eltopia farmer who played for the Washington Redskins in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He’s running against tax hikes and advocating for federal spending cuts.

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