Hastings gets primary challenger

Conservative sets sights on unseating Doc Hastings

By PAT MUIR
Yakima Herald-Republic

Hoping to capitalize on the burgeoning conservative grass-roots movement, Mary Ruth Edwards announced Monday that she would run for Doc Hastings’ seat in the U.S. House.

Edwards, a 49-year-old Prosser elementary school teacher, will run as a Constitution Party candidate. She announced her candidacy with a news release, joining a race that includes Democrat Jay Clough, who announced in November that he was running.

Hastings has not announced plans for a campaign but is the Republican Party’s presumptive candidate in the 4th Congressional District, which he has represented since winning election in 1994.

Edwards is a former Marine and a single mother of two, who advises the drama department at Prosser High School along with her job teaching at Whitstran Elementary School. In 2009 she founded a local group within the 912 Project — the grass-roots movement led by conservative commentator Glenn Beck. She is running on a platform of state sovereignty and strict constitutionalism.

“Our constitution has been virtually shredded,” she said by phone Monday. “In the last 100 years, our Constitution has been under attack.”

Edwards is concerned with the federal government’s assumption of duties not expressly bestowed upon it by the Constitution. As a teacher, she’s been particularly frustrated by federal
education policy.

“Mary Ruth will work to repeal all federal legislation regarding education,” her campaign Web site says.

She’s also big on gun rights.

“She stands against all laws which would require the registration of guns or ammunition,” the Web site says.

Hastings has never come close to losing the U.S. House seat he took from Democrat Jay Inslee in 1994. He has garnered at least 60 percent of the vote in every election since 1998, including in 2008 when he beat Democrat George Fearing, 63 percent to 37 percent. Congressional Quarterly, which keeps tabs on elections nationwide, lists his 4th District seat as “safe Republican.”

Edwards, who has never held elected office, said she chose to go after the federal seat rather than a local elected office after praying for guidance on the matter.

“If I’m going to do anything, I’m going to do it big,” she said.

http://www.yakima-herald.com/stories/2010/03/02/conservative-sets-sights-on-unseating-doc-hastings

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~ by wa4thcddems on March 2, 2010.

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