Political Beat

Documents shed light on 14th District candidates’ legal troubles

Unfortunately, campaign season has a way of bringing out the worst in people. It’s no secret.

And speaking of secrets, The Columbian recently learned of a couple not-so-pretty ones about two Republican candidates running to replace Rep. Charles Ross in Washington’s 14th Legislative District.

For whatever reason, it looks like somebody really has it out for Goldendale businesswoman Gina McCabe and Washington Army National Guard Sgt. First Class Adam Yoest, from Yakima. In the pas month or so, we’ve received an envelope with no return address and a few emails from a person we’d never heard of sharing court documents pertaining to the two candidates.

Adam Yoest

Adam Yoest

Gina McCabe

Gina McCabe

According to the documents, Yoest, 30, was arrested one night 2009 on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. He also happened to be driving with an expired license that night.

As for McCabe, 51, the records show she failed to pay some taxes on her dance studio, Touch of Class, in 1997. She owed about $575 on the property and Klickitat County temporarily placed a lien on her business.

McCabe said it was so long ago she has no recollection of the lien but it was quickly resolved.

“I honestly don’t remember it,” she said. “It would’ve been 17 years ago. If in fact it did happen, it was satisfied in 1997.”

Yoest’s experience, however, is quite a different story. He remembers the incident well and spoke openly about the lasting impact it’s left on his character.

“It’s probably one of the most appalling and shameful things in my life, personally, just because I know I should be better than that,” Yoest said. “It’s something I continuously use as a barometer to make myself work harder.”

Yoest’s arrest capped off a tumultuous year that began with the death of his father. Then, less than two weeks after returning from his second tour in Iraq, Yoest returned to Washington and went out for drinks with some friends.

“As I told people, it was lapse in judgment,” he said. “I probably should’ve made sure I wasn’t driving.”

Yoest managed to plead the charge down to negligent driving and carried on with his life. He and McCabe are each making their first run for public office this year.

It wasn’t exactly a surprise to either of them that some unpleasant secrets would come to light in campaign season, but learning how to deal with it hasn’t been easy, as McCabe suggested.

“I want to know who I’m voting for, too. It’s part of the game, I’m hearing,” McCabe said. “Maybe I need to pass legislation that you need to identify yourself fully if you’re going to accuse someone, because it seems uncourageous.”

Only a small slice of rural northeast Clark County is included in the 14th District. If you happen to live in that area, you’ll find frequent coverage of this race at www.yakimaherlad.com.

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