July 21, 2012 in City
Squabble splits local GOPMore:
Fight over precinct officers could impact commissioner race
By Mike Prager The Spokesman-Review
An internal battle between mainstream Republicans and a conservative insurgency has divided the Spokane County Republican Party and may influence the primary election race for District 2 county commissioner.
The sides are battling for control of the local party through elections of precinct committee officers, a scenario mirroring those playing out across the country, some with tea party overtones.
The primary race for commissioner involving two Republicans – Shelly O’Quinn and Rob Chase – and Democrat Daryl Romeyn may be in the balance.
Only two of those candidates can advance to a general election showdown in Washington’s “top-two” primary system, in which the top vote-getters advance regardless of party affiliation.
O’Quinn expects that a core Democrat vote of about 39 percent will allow Romeyn to earn a spot on the November ballot.
If that prediction holds true, O’Quinn and Chase would be vying for the second ballot spot. A strong turnout by Republicans looking to back precinct committee officer candidates could be the deciding factor.
One longtime Republican Party official, however, said neighborhood precinct committee candidates working to get their supporters to cast votes could lead to O’Quinn and Chase advancing to a general election showdown.
“It will energize people to vote,” said Diana Wilhite, a supporter of O’Quinn.
Said Chase, “If it’s a close race, it could make a difference.”
Contested precinct committee officer races are on the ballot during the primary. There are 44 contested GOP precinct races in commissioner District 2 out of 101 contested GOP races countywide.
District 2 includes southeast Spokane and Spokane Valley, where libertarian and tea party forces are more concentrated.
Competition for control of the local Republican Party dates to 2008 when libertarian Texas congressman Ron Paul ran for president as a Republican and brought new faces to the party organization, said Chase, who is in his second year as county treasurer and is among Paul’s supporters.
Nope... nothing "spontaneous." Yup, Ron Paulian planned, driven and executed.
But then, I may have been saying that all along.