Tea Party Republican David W. Hedrick, who finished third in Tuesday’s top two primary for the open 3rd Congressional District seat, said Wednesday he’ll support state Rep. Jaime Herrera, R-Camas, in the general election campaign.
“I like Jaime. I have a lot of respect for her,” he said. “She’s run an honorable campaign. It’s been clean between our two camps.”
Hedrick, a Camas management consultant, won 13.5 percent of the vote districtwide in Wednesday returns, outpolling Republican David Castillo, a former Bush administration official who had been campaigning for the seat for 14 months.
Hedrick said the mainstream news media failed to take seriously his campaign and the campaign of U.S. Senate candidate Clint Didier, a Tea Party candidate and former pro football player who made headlines when he won the endorsement of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
Didier had 12.2 percent of the vote in Wednesday statewide returns. Some political observers expected him to make a stronger showing against U.S. Sen. Patty Murray and GOP front-runner Dino Rossi.
Didier’s campaign “faced the same thing statewide that I faced locally,” Hedrick said. “The media treated this as a campaign between Murray and Rossi. This is a failure of the media to recognize what’s happening with the Tea Party movement.”
His own campaign “had by far the largest grass-roots movement out there,” Hedrick said. “We had teams in each area who were doing their own thing pretty much every day. We had 100 percent volunteers.”
Hedrick got his start in politics last August when he confronted U.S. Rep. Brian Baird at a health reform town hall that became a YouTube sensation. But he said he believes the message that resonated most with voters in his campaign was that “we need to return to the values that our nation was founded on. Those values were outlined in the Constitution.”
Clark County GOP Chairman Ryan Hart said he has urged Hedrick to stay involved in local politics.
“David ran a great campaign with very little money,” he said. “He’s an excellent speaker. He gave a speech at the state convention that was a huge hit with the delegates. He’s passionate with his beliefs. I love his energy and enthusiasm, and we want him to stay involved.”
Hart said he expects Hedrick to be an asset to any campaign he chooses to support.
“David is about as grass roots as you can get,” he said. “He will work his neighborhoods hard. It wouldn’t surprise me if some candidates would ask him to speak at their events. That’s really up to David.”