SPOKANE, Wash. -

Retiring U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings has endorsed one of the two Republican candidates running to succeed him as the congressman from central Washington.

Hastings on Wednesday endorsed former state legislator Dan Newhouse of Sunnyside in the November general election over tea party challenger Clint Didier of Eltopia.

Hastings says Newhouse will fight for central Washington priorities. He says that includes controlling spending, creating more water storage in the area and cleaning up the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

Hastings and Newhouse made the announcement at a joint appearance at the Richland Community Center.

Newhouse and Didier are both Republicans, marking the first time in state history that two members of the same party have advanced to the general election for a US House seat.