This weekend the newly elected county chairs and committeemen and women will meet to vote in the state party chair for a two year stint.
The contenders are Luke Esser, former radio host Kirby Wilbur, and an unknown by the name of Bill Rennie. For all we know...Rennie may be in the mix to draw votes from Wilbur and therefor helping Esser.
Esser is a good enough guy. I met him when we were both working at the King County Council. I was chief of staff to Kent Pullen (deceased) and he to Rob McKenna. His office was stacked high with papers. Only Brian Derdoski's was worse! I was somewhere on the list I am sure.
Esser became state senator. He then failed to win the Republican primary in a bid for U. S. Congress. The following year he was defeated for reelection to his State Senate seat by Rodney Tom. Esser had gone too far right in his attempt to win the Republican congressional nomination. He couldn't get back to the center and lost to a Democrat who had plenty of ammo to use against Esser because of Essers statements in the congressional race. Esser then, with the backing of Rob McKenna, became party chair.
Esser is part of the equation in Republicans not showing as well as they should have in a huge Republican year. No doubt...the party has suffered setbacks. For the first time in our state's history Democrats took the late absentee voters. Republicans have always been able to count on the late voters because we have had a great get out the vote effort. Failing in this cost us several elections! (More on this later.)
The party has also been chasing expensive and fruitless courtroom efforts trying to get its way regarding the primary elections. It is pretty painful to watch considering the money being spent. Democrats are smart enough to be working on elections.
Wilbur is well known and word has it that he has locked up eastern WA. There are 39 counties. Each gets three votes, one county chair, one state committeeman, and one state committeewoman. Do the math.
Luke is being helped from the top down and Wilbur from the bottom up. I will report with a blow by blow.
Wilbur writes to the 117 delegates.
"It has come to my attention that there is some confusion regarding the schedule for the WSRP meeting this weekend. I have learned that in the materials most of you apparently received by email on Sunday, there is listed a debate for the WSRP Chair candidates from 9:00 -10:00 PM on Friday. Yesterday, you may have received an email notice with details about a forum, now apparently scheduled for 8:00-9:30 PM. Last evening, I finally received an email notifying and inviting me to attend this debate. This was my first notification of this event. I was never asked to attend, nor consulted on any of the details."