Dale Foreman isn’t just any Republican. He is a former Republican state legislator from the Wenatchee area, the former House Majority Leader, a onetime Republican candidate for governor who would have been nominated but for the seven-candidate mash-up that delivered the narrow plurality to Ellen Craswell in 1996.
He even served as the lawyer representing the party and Dino Rossi in the litigation challenging Chris Gregoire’s election in 2004.
So when he comes out for two-term Democratic U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, it’s a pretty big deal.
Here is the story in the Capital Press, which calls itself the West’s Ag Website. I talso publishes a weekly newspaper that is distributed by mail to subscribers across the West. It is written by Dan Wheat, the former political reporter for the Wenatchee World.
In it Foreman, now 64 and a tree-fruit farmer himself, says he is supporting Cantwell because she has supported the Central Washington tree fruit industry. He also said he is sending a message to Republicans in Congress that their failure to pass a farm labor bill will cost it the support of a traditionally Republican ag industry.
“Republicans, except from our neck of the woods, have been pretty negative toward ag labor reform,” Foreman told Wheat. “Democrats have been more open. We need some compromise bill that will allow our crops to get picked.”
According to the article, “Foreman announced his support of Cantwell at the U.S. Apple Association annual outlook conference in Chicago, Aug. 16-17, during his farewell remarks concluding his year as association chairman. He urged growers to back candidates willing to work hard on the issue, regardless of party.”
Foreman even organized a July fundraiser for Cantwell and said many of the growers who attended had never before been to a Democratic fundraiser.
Cantwell will face off with Republican Michael Baumgartner, a state Senator from Spokane, in the Nov. 6 general election.