Elected office is exceptionally demanding at the congressional level. A congressman representing the 4th District of Washington must tend to the concerns of almost 700,000 people in an area that sprawls across the central part of the state, from Oregon to Canada. But there are times when personal matters take precedence over public ones.
News came over the weekend that Carol Newhouse, wife of U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse, died of cancer Friday in a Seattle hospital. She had been a life partner of the congressman through his years as a farmer, state representative, director of the state Department of Agriculture and, since January 2015, a congressman.
Duties such as these also place heavy demands on the spouse, who must endure the inevitable bumps and bruises that are part of political life. Through it all, Carol Newhouse displayed grace and wit while in the public eye.
She had battled cancer for several years, and in recent weeks, the congressman understandably had spent more time with her in the Seattle hospital. Her passing came at age 62; the couple would have celebrated its 35th wedding anniversary on Monday.
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In addition to her husband, survivors include two adult children. We extend our condolences to the Newhouse family.