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Democrat runs for Congress, says central Washington needs attention

by CHARLES H. FEATHERSTONE
Staff Writer | November 22, 2021 1:03 AM

YAKIMA — Doug White looks back on some important lessons he learned while working in his grandfather’s vineyards as a child.

“It’s a simple story. Fifty years ago, I would help my grandfather in the orchard,” the 60-year-old Yakima native said. “He had drip irrigation, so I would make sure the sprinklers were set right. Water was precious.”

White also said he would be pulled out of school to help with harvest because even then labor was scarce and farm hands were hard to find.

“We’re facing those same problems 50 years later,” he said.

It’s why White, a former international business consultant who now owns White’s Farm 2 Table in Yakima, is running as a Democrat against incumbent Rep. Dan Newhouse to represent the sprawling 4th District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

White said he believes Americans have neglected the kinds of infrastructure investment in the last 70 years necessary to keep the country both going and growing.

“We’re living off our grandparents and great-grandparents’ investment,” White said during a phone interview. “It’s time to take responsibility for our home and not live off depreciation anymore.”

White announced his campaign in early October. He planned a virtual kickoff event for his campaign today, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. To attend, RSVP to claire@dougwhite4congress.us or at https://secure.actblue.com/donate/dougwhitekickoff.

White said he intends to focus on investing in energy improvements — solar, wind and the next generation of nuclear power reactors — and water delivery because he believes lives and livelihoods across central Washington are depending on it.

“When it comes to water, every year we avoid drought is equal to making a 100-foot putt,” he said. “How come the current representative has never addressed that? We need to step up.”

He also believes more should be done to address the needs of communities across the region, such as problems with gangs, guns and domestic violence, and believes Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements should be higher to help keep skilled physicians, nurses and other health care professionals in the region.

“For 30 years, central Washington has been neglected, and the things we need to survive and thrive have been ignored,” he said.

He also said as an international business consultant who has worked in the Middle East and had a business in Hong Kong, he’s seen what happens when the United States fails to lead, and believes it’s important for the country to maintain its global leadership.

“The Chinese Communist leadership wants to take over that role, and they don’t play by the same rules,” White said. “There is no greater threat to our livelihood and way of life than the Chinese Communist government.”

White said he’s been holding some online meetings with local Democratic Party organizations — including recently with the Grant County Democrats — as well as talking with people and listening to their concerns. But White said he is really looking forward to getting out to campaign and meet people across the 4th District, whatever boundaries the Washington State Supreme Court eventually draws for the district.

“It’s what campaigning is all about. It’s what being a representative is all about,” he said.

Charles H. Featherstone can be reached at cfeatherstone@columbiabasinherald.com.