Turmoil Unfolds at Washington Republican Convention in Spokane

The Washington State Republican Party’s convention in Spokane turned chaotic on Friday, with instances of booing, chants of obscenities, and people showing dissent towards their own candidates.

Lorraine Blacklock, a precinct committee officer from King County, expressed astonishment, saying she had never witnessed such behavior in her 30 years in the Republican Party. She lamented the disappearance of civility within the party.

The convention, attended by delegates, precinct committee officers, and grassroots activists, aimed to develop the party’s platform, select local leadership, and nominate candidates for statewide offices.

The main point of contention among the 1,800 Republican delegates was the endorsement for governor. While former Congressman Dave Reichert leads in polls and fundraising, delegates at the convention seemed more inclined towards former Richland school board member Semi Bird.

However, Bird’s candidacy faced scrutiny after a report revealed his past financial crimes. Despite this, delegates voted to overturn his disqualification from the endorsement process, sparking controversy.

In the midst of the chaos, Reichert announced his withdrawal from consideration for the endorsement, citing the party’s disarray. He expressed his intention to continue his gubernatorial campaign.

Turmoil Unfolds at Washington Republican Convention in Spokane

The division within the party was evident earlier when Jaime Herrera Beutler, a candidate for public lands commissioner, faced jeers from the crowd. Herrera Beutler’s decision to impeach former President Donald Trump had divided GOP voters in her district, ultimately leading to her primary loss in 2022.

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Following the events, the Washington State Democratic Party Chair issued a statement criticizing the GOP’s leadership and endorsing candidates.

The convention’s outcome will determine the party’s stance in the upcoming elections, highlighting internal conflicts within the Washington Republican Party.

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