Rep. Dan Newhouse Named Director of Dept. of Agriculture - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Rep. Dan Newhouse Named Director of Dept. of Agriculture

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YAKIMA--Fifteenth district Representative Dan Newhouse is leaving the legislature to become Director of the State Department of Agriculture.

Even though Newhouse said he's leaving the legislature earlier than he wanted, he is excited for his new role.

Newhouse is a farmer from Sunnyside.  He was re-elected to his fourth term in November, but now he's in his last week at the State House.

Newhouse thinks he'll be more help to the state's farms as department head.  He told me one of his first goals is to address the varying water issues here locally, and statewide.

"It's critical for our area in Central Washington [and] for the future of the agricultural industry," Newhouse said.  "A lot of things that surround the bigger issue of water that are going to be right at the forefront very shortly."

Newhouse also wants to solve the labor issue farms are dealing with.

Three finalists to succeed Newhouse will be chosen by Precinct Committee Officer's (PCO) in the four counties of the 15th district.

Then, the county commissioners from those four counties will choose the next state rep from those three people.

Newhouse thinks we will start to see some candidates step up in the next few weeks.

He starts his new job Wednesday.