LD 8th Senate Primary Race Heats Up - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

LD 8th Senate Primary Race Heats Up

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KENNEWICK, Wash.-  Elected versus appointed.  That was the debate that heated things up at the Benton County Republican Party meeting Thursday.

Prior to the meeting, the Republican Chair emailed precinct committee officers "discussion points" involving the upcoming 8th District Senate Primary race.

Sharon Brown was appointed to that seat in January, but State Committeeman Tony Benegas has filed to run against her.

Benegas says the discussion points were intended to remove him from the party and ultimately the race.

He says if the Chair could convince committee members that Brown was an "elected" official, then according to the party's bylaws, Benegas would be thrown out of the party for running against her.

"If you want to go work on a campaign then go work on it, but don't try to paint a picture to throw out a person to soil his character or reputation," said Benegas.

Benegas says some party members could see the Chair was eliciting for a certain outcome, so the party decided not to endorse anyone.