Kennewick attorney George Cicotte is the latest person to announce interest in running for the seat of retiring Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Pasco.
Cicotte is setting up an exploratory committee, considered the first step in a Congressional run, he said Monday.
All of the candidates considering replacing Hastings, who announced last week that he won’t run again after 10 terms, will promise to try to keep funding for cleanup of the Hanford site, as well as helping area agriculture and water resources. But the Republican Cicotte said he separates himself from the pack because of his experience as a health benefits attorney.
Cicotte has worked for 20 years on federal benefits like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and most recently, the implications of the Affordable Care Act on employees, he said. The entitlements make up a large portion of the federal budget.
“My opinion is that I have a unique skill at that, and this can help get the government into a better position,” he said.
Cicotte and his wife have seven children. He said a large family can also be an asset in Congress.
“There’s a lot of compromising and working together as a family, and that experience will be very, very valuable in the legislature,” he said.
He also worries about his children’s future. He said he doesn’t want them to have to pay 50 percent of their income in taxes.
Other Republican candidates to announce they are considering running include state Sens. Sharon Brown of Kennewick and Janéa Holmquist Newbry of Moses Lake; former state Department of Agriculture director Dan Newhouse; Franklin County Commissioner Brad Peck; Clint Didier, a former pro football player and 2010 U.S. Senate candidate; and Gavin Seim, an Ephrata portraitist and filmmaker. Josh Ramirez of Pasco, a Washington River Protection Solutions project control specialist, has announced he will run as an independent.