Boehnke officially announces run for 8th District seat - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Boehnke officially announces run for 8th District seat

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KENNEWICK, WA - Today, Matt Boehnke officially threw his hat in the ring to replace longtime Representative Larry Haler in the 8th Congressional District.

"I think we have a gem, a foundation of success here, that we work with a lot of successful people, a lot of successful groups and we continue that for the future of the Tri-Cities," said Boehnke.

Steps in front of the Veterans Memorial, retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Matt Boehnke announced his run for the 8th District House seat. Just days after Incumbent Larry Haler said he would step away from the floor at the end of his term, Boehnke follows Representative Haler's esteemed 14 years of service.

In taking this step, Boehnke considered where the Republican Party is going and how the lack of bipartisan communication is affecting progress.

"I think seeing the different people that are running are looking at the elected officials that are out there in the headlines and in the news, not only on the national level but the local level, and the different discussions that they're having, seems to me a lot of disjointed, disconnected and not really communicating with other parties," Boehnke said.

While leaving the House floor, Representative Haler hopes whoever takes his place continues to spread the message of unity and bipartisan teamwork. 

However, his relationship with the voters is what he'll miss the most.

"I greatly appreciate the privilege and the honor of serving them," Rep. Haler said, "and I look forward to getting back to the district and continuing to serve them until the end of this year."

Boehnke says his campaign focuses on three main issues: education, energy and technology, and the economy.

After his three years on the Kennewick City Council, Boehnke says he's ready to get his message out to the rest of the Tri-Cities.