Tag: Luanne Van Werven

Washington Republicans Elect Former News Anchor Susan Hutchison as New State Party Chair

SusanHutchison-001SPOKANE — Republicans in Washington State decided to draw from outside its ranks Saturday to replace recently resigned Washington State Republican Party Chair Kirby Wilbur, electing former television news anchor and King County Executive candidate Susan Hutchison as its new chair.

Four candidates were nominated during the WSRP’s meeting, held in the air-conditioned comfort of the Red Lion Inn conference center: Hutchison, interim-Chair Luanne Van Werven, James Walsh and Christian Berrigan.

Winning the chair election required a simple majority of the 107 voting delegates in attendance and the decision came after two ballots. The first ballot was indecisive with Van Werven taking the largest number of votes, 41, but not achieving a majority. Hutchison was the second leading votegetter with 39. Walsh earned 16 and Berrigan received 11.

On the second ballot, Hutchison received 59 votes to become the new chair.

Immediately following the announcement of results, Hutchison gave a brief address to the committee, thanking Van Werven for her service as interim-Chair, but it was in her address as a candidate that she described her vision for the party moving forward.

In a well-delivered speech that opened with the salutation of Pres. George Washington to war-weary Revolutionary War troops – “My brave fellows” – Hutchison sympathized with the malaise of many rank and file in her party. Then, in the only moment among all candidates speeches that received solid applause, she remanded Republicans to remember their greatest advantage: “We are right and they are wrong.”

Hutchison also delivered a sharp rebuke of prior administration’s handling of administrative finances and being slow to evolve in its use of technology.

Hutchison’s election and Van Werven’s resettling into her prior vice chair role means that statewide Republicans are now led by two women, a blessing in the sense that it sends a clear message that a so-called War on Women is a product of liberal mythmakers, but a problem in that state law requires chair and vice chair leadership of major political parties to be of the opposite gender. The WSRP bylaws, however, do not require a sitting officeholder to relinquish their seat to comply with the law.

Republicans chose to table the discussion on bringing the WSRP into compliance, a move that has solid precedent in prior leadership changes. As we wrote last month:

In 2006, former WSRP Chair Chris Vance resigned and Diane Tebelius was elected to replace him, but then-Vice Chair Fredi Simpson remained in her position until she was elected national committeewoman. That transition process may (or may not) have established a precedent for how the process works in the event of a vacancy.

Susan Hutchison Wins Straw Poll on WSRP Chair Race, Berrigan Second, Van Werven Third

WSRPChairRaceStrawPollResults2013The votes have been tallied and analyzed and former television news anchor Susan Hutchison has taken in NW Daily Marker’s informal online candidate preference straw poll of the race for Washington State Republican Party Chair.

Of 644 votes cast between 9:50 a.m. Wednesday and midnight Thursday when the survey was closed, Hutchison received 222 votes, 34.5% of all votes cast, to top the list of preferred candidates among respondents.

Not surprising to anyone who has watched the groundswell, Clark County Republican operative Christian Berrigan was the second-highest vote-getter with 159 votes (24.7%). Berrigan began the race with primarily Clark County support but has since increased his backing from libertarians.

Current WSRP interim-Chair Luanne Van Werven – whose campaign for the seat has generated a steady stream of key endorsements among voting delegates to the state committee, and who Republican insiders say has lined up the votes she needs to win when members conduct the real vote this Saturday in Spokane – made a third place showing with 122 votes (18.9%).

Rounding out the results among the seven candidates: Grays Harbor State Committeeman James Walsh earned a fourth place finish with 90 votes (14%), state Sen. Pam Roach took 48 votes (7.5%), former state Sen. Lawrence Faulk received 3 votes (0.5%) and Benton County Precinct Committee Officer Lloyd Becker received no votes.

The straw poll was not scientific and so a true margin of error cannot be calculated.

Vote in the NW Daily Marker WSRP Chair Election Straw Poll

UPDATE: Our straw poll has closed. Be sure to check out the results here.

The 117 members of the Washington State Republican Party will vote this Saturday, Aug. 24 to elect a new chair. By voting once in our anonymous straw poll, you can send a message to have your preference heard before the voting delegates make their decision.

The poll will close at midnight Thursday, Aug. 22. The results will be compiled and reported on Friday.

Note: In order to promote fairness, the order of candidate names are randomized in the survey below. This poll is not a scientific survey.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

The WSRP Chair Race — A Youth Perspective

(Note: The Young Republicans of Washington did not endorse in this race. Mr. Wallace’s viewpoints are his own, though two previous statewide YR Chairman have also endorsed Luanne.)

Questions for a WSRP Chair

First off, I have a few questions for any prospective WSRP Chair:

  1. How much are they helping Jan Angel?  That is THE NUMBER ONE PRIORITY for this year.
  2. Can they win the hearts and minds of the youth to build this party going into 2016?
  3. Will they commit to data harvesting and micro targeting operations for our state party?
  4. Can they take advantage of 2014 being a non-statewide, non US Senate cycle for the state of Washington to rebuild the party – from the ground up and not from the top-down?
  5. Will they go on the attack to win, using the truth?
  6. When did you affiliate with the Republican Party?  I know of at least one candidate who declared 4 years ago that they’d never affiliated with a political party.

Why the first and last question are the most important.

I’d like to know – what have they done SO FAR to help Jan Angel get elected?  I don’t want a promise to help in that race.  I want a track record.

What I don’t want –is a WSRP chair that cares more about the name on the back of the jersey than the front, so to speak.  I don’t want a WSRP chair that spends the first few weeks on the job explaining when they became a Republican after proclaiming so loudly that they’d never affiliated with a party.

That statement was made July 19, 2009 by one of the candidates.  Do your own research; I won’t say who it is in this venue.  We need someone not afraid of the Republican name.  That’s something we can ALL agree on.  As a matter of fact – that’s the beginning of the conversation.

The winning formula: PB+D>C

Next, we need a chair that understands what PB+D>C is.

For you non political geeks – it’s simple.

P is the probability that you can affect outcome with your vote.

B is the benefit of who you support – candidate or party – if elected.

D is internal motivators.  Drivers, we’ll call them.

C is the cost to vote.  This is time, etc.


  1. We need to get the word out about races like Buys, Zeiger, and Olson in order to drive up the perception of “P”.
  2. We need to not only positively define our candidate – but negatively define the opponent.  We need CONTRAST between our candidates and the ones the Dem’s run against us.  Without that contrast – B is zero.  For those of you who failed math – any number multiplied by zero IS zero.  That leaves civic duty and personal satisfaction as drivers.  We can’t let the opponent negatively define us.  Dems are good at this – we are not and we need to be.

Where does this leave us?

When I apply this set of criteria – I say vote for Luanne Van Werven.

This is only a personal endorsement – not the endorsement of the Washington Young Republicans Federation.  However – I was elected to that role because of the trust placed in my judgment to determine how to best grow, train and deploy the organization.

As an aside – I was able to meet Jan Angel right here in Whatcom County.  As a matter of fact, Luanne Van Werven co- hosted the event.  I don’t know if the other candidates for WSRP chair have yet held an event for Jan Angel, or even if they intend to.

It isn’t just me.

It isn’t just me – the Young Republicans State President prior to me – Daniel Turner who is on his way to Grad School at Hillsdale college just earlier today endorsed Luanne for Chair.  The Young Republicans State President prior to him – Jeremy Jasman – from Odessa Washington, who grew up on a family farm – has also endorsed her earlier today.

That’s 3 diverse consecutive statewide executives of Young Republicans – all endorsing Luanne Van Werven.  Isn’t that unity?

The three of us support Luanne Van Werven.


Join the current as well as last two Young Republican State Presidents in supporting Luanne Van Werven for WSRP chair.  Then, look up and call your county’s voting members – Chair, State Committeeman and State Committeewoman and let them know to do the same.

We deserve a winning party.  Luanne’s leadership swept the 42nd legislative district.  It’s time to use that winning blueprint statewide.

Luanne Van Werven Announces She Will Run in WSRP Chair Race

Luanne Van Werven, candidate for WSRP Chair.

Luanne Van Werven, candidate for WSRP Chair.

Washington State Republican Party Vice Chair and current interim-chair Luanne Van Werven of Whatcom County has tossed her hat in the ring to be the next leader of the Washington State GOP.

In an email sent Friday and addressed to WSRP state committee members, Van Werven announced her candidacy and talked frankly about the route she took to a decision since Monday’s sudden resignation by former WSRP Chair Kirby Wilbur.

“When I woke up on Monday morning I did not expect that, by the end of the day, I would be the WSRP Interim-Chair, but I knew when I ran to be your Vice Chair that I needed to be prepared for this eventuality. With your votes cast in January, you placed your trust in me and in my ability to execute the duties of our Chair should the need arise.  And it now has. … And so I have decided to run for the position of permanent Chair of the WSRP,” Van Werven wrote.

Her appeal to the state party’s voting members brushed on three hot topics among state committee members — finances, fundraising and unity.

“I believe that quickly electing a permanent chair is best for the party and will provide stability and a smoother transition.  There is no time to lose; we need to get busy building the party and providing a solid financial base.”

“We must come together and strive for success as a united front, lest we become divided, broken and ineffective,” she added, echoing a refrain frequently heard in conversations among party insiders.

Van Werven also said she will use her role as interim-chair to immediately begin a fundraising effort.

“I’m not going to wait until after the election to start reaching out to donors. In fact, as Interim-Chair, I have already begun.”

State GOP to Elect New Chair on Aug. 24 — Will It Be a Boy or a Girl?

The Washington State Republican Party will vote at its scheduled August meeting in Spokane to elect a new chair, according to a release sent out from party headquarters Thursday.

The 117 members of the WSRP state committee will select a permanent replacement to succeed Kirby Wilbur who resigned Monday, but state law that prescribes the gender of political party leadership could be a source questions about whether the candidates will be men and women or only men in the race to win the state GOP’s top spot.

The Revised Code of Washington states that in regular elections chairs and vice chairs of political parties must be of opposite gender. From RCW 29A.80.020:

The state committee of each major political party consists of one committeeman and one committeewoman from each county elected by the county central committee at its organization meeting. It must have a chair and vice chair of opposite sexes.

The law goes on to specify when elections must be conducted (in the month of January in odd-numbered years) and how state committee members must be notified, but does not specifically whether the gender requirements also apply in the case of filling a vacancy.

In 2006, former WSRP Chair Chris Vance resigned and Diane Tebelius was elected to replace him, but then-Vice Chair Fredi Simpson remained in her position until she was elected national committeewoman. That transition process may (or may not) have established a precedent for how the process works in the event of a vacancy.

Present-day vice chair Luanne Van Werven is currently serving as interim chair and a similar scenario presents itself, especially since sources tell us Van Werven is now making calls in advance of an announcement that she will run for chair.

So, be they man or woman, who will run? Although no candidates have officially declared in the race, many names are floating. With less than three weeks until state committee members will be asked to vote, it seems right to expect a clear picture of the candidate field to emerge by the end of next week.

In discussions I have had with party members in recent days, a number of names have been mentioned as potential candidates, though only two – Van Werven and Susan Hutchison – have given public statements of their interest in jumping into the race.

The editor of The Everett Herald tweeted Wednesday that a source confirmed Dino Rossi is being “pressured” to run, but Rossi himself has not come forward. One day earlier, The Herald editorialized in support of Rob McKenna picking up the reins of the state GOP, an idea most insiders believe is highly unlikely to become a reality for reasons discussed in The Herald’s endorsement.

Other names heard through the Republican grapevine include: former legislative candidate and current Spokane County GOP Chair Ben Oakley, Franklin County Commissioner and Franklin County Republican Chair Brad Peck, former state Sen. Bill Hinkle, two-time congressional candidate and Snohomish County Councilmember John Koster, state Rep. Cary Condotta, and King County GOP Chair Lori Sotelo.

Field of Potential Candidates Begins to Emerge in Race for Next WSRP Chair

On Tuesday, even before 24 hours had elapsed since Washington State Republican Party Chair Kirby Wilbur’s announcement that he was stepping down immediately to begin a full-time position with the Young America’s Foundation in Washington, D.C., party activists and insiders were buzzing to discover the names of likely candidates who might run to replace him.

If names were snowflakes, it would not be an overstatement to say that chatter over online forums and email quickly became a flurry. According to a well-informed source, 17 people have expressed interest in running for WSRP chair so far.

We fully expect that number to go down quickly, not up, particularly if the tantalizing prospect of luring one of the two recent Republican candidates for governor back to shepherd the party through a tricky time were to become reality. All is quiet in those camps on the issue, for now.

Still, though no one has officially declared an intent to run, a couple of figures have taken half-steps forward to signal definite interest – interim WSRP Chair Luanne Van Werven of Whatcom County and former news anchor and King County Executive candidate Susan Hutchison.

Van Werven responded Tuesday evening to questions about rumors of her interest in retaining the role she has stepped into after Wilbur’s quick departure. Her answer, in the language of politics, was as clear an upside-maybe as you’re going to get.

“I believe the continuity and stability of the WSRP is of critical importance. If standing for permanent chair is in the best interest of the state party then I am prepared to do that,” Van Werven wrote to us.

Earlier Tuesday, Hutchison gave her own clear statement to Jim Brunner of The Seattle Times on whether she was interested in leading the state GOP. Hutchison left the door wide open for speculation. From The Seattle Times:

“I think it’s an exciting job, and I think there is a lot to be done, and it requires someone who is dynamic, understands the territory and the state and can raise money and bring people together,” Hutchison said. Asked whether those were qualities she possesses, Hutchison replied: “I think they are.”

When hats are ultimately tossed into the ring and the WSRP state committee’s 117 members vote sometime within the next 90 days to elect a new permanent chair, one of the key questions candidates will have to answer is, “How much money can you raise?”

This year, Republicans hope to provide a tailwind in support of state Rep. Jan Angel who is working hard to unseat recently appointed Democratic incumbent state Sen. Nathan Schlicher in the 26th Legislative District.

Next year, Republicans will attempt to extend a recent trend of picking up seats in both houses of the state Legislature and possibly to flip a congressional seat in what promises to be a tricky midterm election.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén