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News / Clark County News

Tea Party candidate David Hedrick pleads not guilty to assault

Former Marine accused of hitting his wife during an argument

By Bob Albrecht
Published: October 12, 2010, 12:00am

The Camas man who rose to prominence after telling a Democratic congressman to “stay away from my kids” is accused of assaulting his wife.

One-time Republican congressional candidate David W. Hedrick, 31, pleaded not guilty on Monday to one count of fourth-degree assault — domestic violence, court records show.

The former Marine and Tea Party favorite was arrested at his Camas home early Sunday morning after his wife alleged he struck her twice in the back of the head during an argument.

Hedrick was arraigned Monday and released on bail. He is due in court for a pre-trial hearing Nov. 2, the same day voters will decide between Republican Jaime Herrera and Democrat Denny Heck, the two candidates that bested Hedrick in the primary for the open 3rd Congressional District seat.

If convicted on charges he assaulted his wife, Hedrick faces up to a year in jail and a possible $5,000 fine.

Reached by phone Tuesday, he declined comment.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed with the court, Hedrick’s wife told the Clark County Sheriff’s Office she slapped him on the forearm during an argument. “He responded,” documents show, “by standing up, knocking her to the floor and striking her twice in the back of the head.”

Hedrick told a deputy he did not hit his wife; rather, he said, he pushed her to the floor when she “attempted to strike him with a folding chair.”

His wife admitted to charging him with a chair, but said it came after “he had already thrown her down.”

Hedrick is barred from coming within 250 feet of his wife, with the exception of when the couple exchange their two children. Hedrick and his wife can arrange visitation through “e-mails and texts,” according to court documents.

Possible charges against Hedrick’s wife were referred to the Clark County Domestic Violence Prosecution Center for review, said Sgt. Scott Schanaker, a sheriff’s spokesman.

A management consultant, Hedrick got his start in politics in August 2009 when he confronted U.S. Rep. Brian Baird at a health reform town hall. It became a YouTube sensation. Speaking against federal health care reform, Hedrick told Baird, “Stay away from my kids.”

That confrontation thrust him into the national spotlight. He stumped nationally for other candidates on the Tea Party circuit and gave interviews on Fox News. On Fox’s The Sean Hannity Show, he accused the Obama administration of pursuing economic and political policies “almost line for line” in step with Nazism.

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As recently as July, in the midst of his campaign for the congressional seat opened by Baird’s retirement, the outspoken Republican confronted Gov. Chris Gregoire at a budget forum to express his displeasure with her use of an executive order on climate change.

Before his entry into politics, Hedrick, who grew up in Orlando, Fla., served in the Marine Corps. He was discharged with 30 percent disability, the result of an injury to his ankle during basic training at Camp Pendleton and a back injury he has declined to discuss.

On a financial statement included in the court records, Hedrick said he expected to earn $200,000 from November to January. He receives $400 a month in VA disability.

Hedrick was divorced from his previous wife in July 2008. A mutual no-contact order between Hedrick and his ex-wife remains active until February 2013, records show.

Bob Albrecht: 360-735-4522 or bob.albrecht@columbian.com.