Lewis County needs third-party political candidates.
We are being let down on both the right and the left. On the right, we have officials representing the furthest fringes: Morton Police Chief Roger Morningstar, Lewis County Sheriff Rob Snaza, and most especially agitator-in-chief 19th District Rep. Jim Walsh, to name a few of the most notable.
The valuable contributions to the wider political discussion by true conservatives have all but disappeared under the partisan, ideological noise of right-wing extremism.
In many ways, we’ve been let down to an even greater degree by the local Democratic Party machine, which has gone AWOL. They seem to exist in name only and are only notable for their utter silence and lack of active participation in local politics. They reached a low point of inaction in our last election cycle when they didn’t even have the wherewithal to run candidates for the two open county commissioner positions.
I attended one of their meetings a few years back to see what they were about. At that meeting, they dithered a bit about endorsing Erin Frasier, a very solid candidate, in her run against Jim Walsh for the 19th District seat.
But I never heard a single word about how they would support her run and I saw no subsequent signs that they did anything at all toward that goal. Ms. Frasier only lost that race by around 500 votes. That could have been a winnable race if the Lewis County Democrats had put some money and energy into what a political party exists to do, which is to actively support their candidates in their campaigns and get them votes.
I look at the names of those who submit letters to the editor in this newspaper. It has been disheartening to see that as far as I can recall I’ve only ever once seen the name of a contributor formally affiliated with the local Democrats.
Here, too, they have abdicated their role in contributing Democratic views to the wider political discourse through their silence.
There are plenty of us in Lewis County and Southwest Washington who feel that there are few political officials, if any, in the current political establishment who truly represent us. It’s time to actively recruit and work toward supporting third-party candidates who do.
I hear the voices of many intelligent, reasonable, concerned citizens in this paper and elsewhere who do not occupy the fringes of either party but seem to tend toward the middle. I encourage those of you who clearly care about your community to consider a third-party candidacy.
If we had candidates focused on finding solutions to the real problems we face here locally rather than fixated on ideology and partisanship, or who are just plain AWOL, I believe there would be a surprising degree of support ready to boost their candidacy.