Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Saturday, August 14, 2010

State Rep Working To Elect More Republicans To House

Washington 15th District State Representative David Taylor has been tapped by fellow Republicans in the State House, to assist up to 22 campaigns during the 2010 election cycle.  He is now a member of the leadership of the House Republican Organizational Committee, and recently sent a fundraising appeals letter to his supporters to ask for their help in raising up to $20,000 to partially fund these other candidates' campaigns.

Photo From David Taylor's Official Legislative Website
15th District State Representative David Taylor
Mr. Taylor, in a phone interview with this blog, explained that each political party caucus has its own campaign arm, and the House Republican Organizational Committee (HROC) works to recruit candidates, and raise funds, with the goal of getting more Republicans elected in the legislature.  Earlier this year, Taylor transferred $10,000 to HROC, and has the goal of transferring an additional $20,000 following the primary election.
Cary Condotta, a 12th District Representative, invited Mr. Taylor to be on the Leadership Team for HROC this year.  The Leadership Team is made up of caucus elected leadership, and three additional representatives that have been invited to participate.  Taylor said it is an honor to be part of the effort and work of HROC.
Taylor said the top races that he is personally following are:
  • 6th District: Spokane area; this is a possible Republican pickup.  There are two Republicans running there, and Mr. Taylor said HROC is not endorsing anyone until after the primary is over.  The Republicans running are John E. Ahern and Shelly O'quinn.  The Democrat incumbent is John F. Driscoll.
  • 17th District: Vancouver area; this is another possible Republican pickup.  In position 1, Republican candidate Brian Peck is looking to unseat Democrat incumbent Tim Probst.  In position 2, an open seat this year, Republican candidate Paul Harris is in a primary battle with Democrats Martin (MD) Hash and Monica Stonier.
  • 18th District: this district is in Clark and Cowlitz counties; Position 1 is being vacated by Republican Jaime Herrera, who is running for U.S. Congress.  HROC is looking to hold this seat in the Republican column.  Several Republicans are running to take her place: Jon Russell, Brandon Vick, Anthony Bittner, and Ann Rivers have filed as preferring the Republican or GOP Party.  There is a Democrat and an independent on the primary ballot there as well.
  • 49th District: Vancouver area; this is another possible Republican pickup.  Both seats in this district are currently held by Democrats.  Position 1 features Republican Bill Cismar running against the Democrat incumbent Jim Jacks.  Position 2 has Republican Craig Riley looking to unseat Democrat Jim Moeller.

Another district race that Taylor is watching closely is the 14th District, in the Yakima area.  Republican incumbent Norm Johnson is in a hotly contested primary following his vote for the domestic partnership bill approved during the most recent legislative session.  Michele Strobel is running a conservative Republican campaign to unseat Johnson.  Strobel has made Johnson's support of the domestic partnership bill a central part of her campaign.  In addition, former Republican PCO Scott Brumback, who filed as a Democrat, is running against Johnson as well.

Some political observers think that the two Republicans may advance to the general election, which would create an uncomfortable situation for local party leaders, who will be reluctant to endorse a candidate, should this situation arise.

Looking statewide, Taylor says it is almost 100% certain that Republicans will gain seats in the House this year, and it is a real possibility that the GOP will gain a majority as well.  This is the goal that HROC is working towards.

Given the unpopularity of recently announced budget cuts coming from the governor's office, it is certainly possible.  Democrats failed to balance the budget when they had a chance, and Republicans have a plan to prioritize spending to prevent the kind of mess that the state budget is currently in.

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