Businessman and nonprofit leader Bob Dingethal on Monday announced his candidacy for U.S. Congress in Washington’s 3rd Congressional District.
The seat currently is held by U.S. Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas.
“The people of Southwest Washington deserve representation in Congress, leadership that works together and actively seeks solutions to our common problems.” Dingethal said in a news release. “Our Congress is dysfunctional. It’s time to put aside the partisan in-fighting that has caused the problems of struggling families to be ignored. The people need someone who will listen and work as hard as they do.”
Dingethal, who has announced as a Democrat, is currently the executive director of the Gifford Pinchot Task Force, a nonprofit organization that protects and restores the national forest around Mount St. Helens and Mount Adams. A former outreach director for U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Edmonds, Dingethal also was an executive in the telecommunications industry for 20 years and has owned several small businesses in the region.
If elected, Dingethal would immediately re-open public town hall meetings throughout the district, he said.
“I’m looking forward to meeting thousands of people face to face across the district in the coming months. I want to hear their concerns and ideas. We need to open the conversation to everyone. There are currently a lot of people who feel their voices are not being heard over the power of special interests in D.C.,” he said. “People have a right to voice their opinions even if they are angry with the state of politics in America. I won’t always agree with everyone, but I pledge to always listen, try to find answers, and work together with all of the people of the 3rd District.”
According to Dingethal, economic innovation will be a key issue in his upcoming campaign.
“In my business career I was part of a leadership team that took a small telecom company to over 700 employees. We can foster innovation in the hi-tech and other industries here in Southwest Washington, and create economic and job training opportunities,” he said. “I think my 35 years of experience in business, nonprofit and public policy gives me a unique insight into solving problems that our current representation does not have.”
Dingethal has been actively involved in community service, working with the Vancouver Police Activities League, the Chkalov Society, the Joy Team and Dream Big Community Center.
He also has served as chair of the Vancouver-Clark County Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee and on the board of the Clark County Historical Society and Museum.
He lives in Ridgefield with his wife Dona and his two grown sons, Max and Sam.
Michael Delavar, an airline pilot and former Washougal city councilor, has also announced his plans to challenge incumbent Herrera Beutler.
Delevar in 2008 ran unsuccessfully against Brian Baird, a Democrat who served for five terms.