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Schlect Chris blog post ●  Yesterday, Congressman Doc Hastings (R/Washington), who will be retiring at the end of the 113th Congress after two decades of service in the U.S. House of Representatives, endorsed Dan Newhouse to be his successor. Unsurprisingly, the other Republican candidate in the race, Clint Didier, did not find this to his liking. Mr. Didier brought in more voters in the primary than Mr. Newhouse, but I think Dan Newhouse will prevail in the general election with the support of moderate voters from both major parties.

●  I plan to travel East on Sunday to attend the United Fresh Produce Association’s annual Washington Policy Conference. Monday will be mostly taken up with my participation at a meeting of United’s Government Relations Council, under the chairmanship of John Keeling of the National Potato Council. The conference starts that night with an opening reception and extends through to Wednesday afternoon. During this annual event for the nation’s produce industry, Congressman Hastings will speak on Tuesday and also be honored with the 2014 United Fresh Congressional Leadership Award.

● Our office is carefully watching three potentially controversial national policy issues that could pop up any day, or be delayed until after the general election on November 4: New FDA rules for food safety; presidential action on immigration; and a decision by USDA on a non-browning GMO apple.

● The Northwest Horticultural Council was founded in 1947. Now two of its founding members are combining with two other industry organizations (the Washington State Horticultural Association and Washington Growers Clearing House) to form the Washington Tree Fruit Association, under the leadership of a former employee of the NHC, Jon DeVaney.

The Wenatchee Valley Traffic Association and the Yakima Growers-Shippers Association now cease to exist, but their useful work on industry statistics, state regulatory issues, and general representation will continue in a more targeted, effective, and coordinated manner. The Washington Tree Fruit Association is now a member of the Northwest Horticultural Council. And the YVGSA and WVTA now make their way to the dustbin of dead acronyms.