4th District candidate votes for opponent

Associated Press

KENNEWICK — Libertarian congressional candidate Fred Krauss has shocked supporters by endorsing Republican U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings in central Washington’s 4th District.

Krauss earned enough primary votes to get his name on the ballot in the race against Hastings and Democrat Jim Davis.

But the former school administrator announced Tuesday that not only is he endorsing Hastings, he already has voted for him.

"This election is too important," Krauss was quoted as saying in a Hastings press release. "We need Republicans in Congress and in the White House. I’m telling my supporters to vote for Doc Hastings. I did."

"I’m proud to have Fred’s endorsement because I know that he and his supporters share my determination to save our dams, stand up for farmers, protect Social Security and pay off the national debt," Hastings said in a news release.

The development isn’t likely to have a significant affect on the election. Krauss got only 2.8 percent of the vote in the primary.

Krauss used the endorsement to rail against President Clinton.

"I decided the Democratic guy is playing ball with Bill Clinton," Krauss said.

Davis said the endorsement smacked of desperation from the Hastings camp, adding that tying his campaign to Clinton or Al Gore is ridiculous.

The Coulee City wheat farmer has distanced himself from Clinton and has twice dodged Eastern Washington appearances with Gore, when the presidential nominee visited the Tri-Cities and Spokane.

"Doc is reeling from my bipartisan message," Davis said. "If you think Fred Krauss did this of his own volition, then you believe in the tooth fairy."

Hastings was winning the money race in reports released this week by the Federal Election Commission. The incumbent raised $641,000 through Oct. 18 and had spent $529,000.

Davis raised $387,000 through Oct. 18 and had spent $357,000.

Krauss, a retired Oregon school administrator, didn’t report raising or spending any money.

Krauss’ announcement stunned the Libertarian Party, whose bylaws prohibit candidates from endorsing candidates of other parties.

"The idea of running the candidates was to show people we are a viable alternative," said West Richland’s Jocelyn Langlois, chairwoman of the state Libertarian Party.

Krauss said he approached the Hastings campaign about the endorsement.

Copyright ©2000 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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