NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Saturday, January 20th, 2018

Washington State Republicans elect Caleb Heimlich as successor to Susan Hutchison

At a meeting in Moses Lake, the Washington State Republican Party’s Central Committee tapped Executive Director Caleb Heimlich to take over from Susan Hutchison as its next Chair, the WSRP announced in a tweet earlier today.

Hutchison revealed shortly after the new year that she would be stepping down as Chairman (the title she has insisted on using despite identifying as a woman).

Heimlich, who has been Hutchison’s deputy for many years, beat out several other contenders for the job on a single ballot, according to news reports, and will assume his new duties next month after a short transition period.

“Thanks to the State Committee for their vote of confidence. Excited to get to work supporting our great candidates,” Heimlich tweeted.

Heimlich beat out several rival candidates for the job.

Although the WSRP did not update its website with details on the election, the Skagit County Republicans broke out the vote count in a dispatch on their site.

“There were a total of four candidates competing for the position and out of a possible one hundred and seven votes, Caleb Heimlich received seventy-five votes, Monique Valenzuela (Chairman of the Tacoma Public Utility Board) received fifteen votes, Marty McClendon (state lieutenant governor candidate) received thirteen votes and Lance Henderson (former WSRP Executive director) received four votes.”

From what we’ve heard, Heimlich is pretty well-regarded in Republican circles, with a reputation for being thoughtful and level-headed, which would explain his commanding victory at the central committee’s meeting in Moses Lake.

Heimlich will be taking over the party at a challenging time.

Republicans are out of power in Olympia, having just lost their state Senate majority to the Democrats, and have so far failed to recruit a challenger for U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell. Democrats, meanwhile, are hoping to make the state’s congressional delegation a deeper shade of blue by electing Democrats to the U.S. House in the 5th and 8th Districts, and perhaps even the 3rd as well.

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