Franklin County Commissioner Brad Peck formally announced his candidacy Tuesday for the U.S. House seat being vacated by retiring Rep. Doc Hastings.
Peck's experiences as an Air Force officer, as a manager at Energy Northwest and as an elected public official at the county level would serve constituents well in Washington, D.C., he said.
"Every day it's a different issue," Peck said at a news conference at the Moore Mansion, a historic Pasco home he has renovated for 10 years.
Peck's Air Force service, which included four years at the Pentagon, will help him with issues facing veterans and the military, he said
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Peck will work to bring more government effort and funding into Hanford to get it cleaned up, he said. He wants to end the "perpetual delays and extensions" at the site.
"I will be an active and, I think, powerful voice, having worked out in that area for six years," he said.
Peck has worked closely with the agricultural community as a county commissioner for the past six years. He said this gives him insight into water, power and immigration issues farmers face. He called the temporary agricultural workers program now in place "a disgrace."
"It is ethically unconscionable that we've got people who have been trying to work toward legal immigration, trying to follow the process for 15, 20 years," he said. "If they are here and they are trying to work through the process and they are not able to do it because our government has it so screwed up, then we need to fix that process because it's not helping the government, it's not helping the grower, it's not helping the worker, it's not helping the economy -- there are no winners in that program in my mind. We need to fix it."
Peck will stay in his positions on the board of commissioners and the Franklin County Republican Party, which he chairs, during the election campaign, he said.
"I don't think you'll see me let up one bit on that," he said of his job as commissioner. "Yes, I'm going to be a very busy person, but that's OK. This is a worthwhile venture, and win, lose or draw, what I'm going to learn in this campaign I can apply as a commissioner for the benefit of Franklin County."
The primary election will take place in August, with the top two candidates facing each other in November. Peck said the relatively short campaign time could help some candidates and adversely impact others.
"It certainly compresses the window," he said.