On March 1, I attended the monthly Lewis County Republicans Precinct Meeting for the first time. When I read The Chronicle’s report on the event, I couldn’t even recognize the evening’s proceedings and had to check the date and location twice and call Lewis County Republicans Chairman Brandon Svenson to make sure the story was about the same meeting I had attended. In my opinion, the selectively edited comments and characterized the attendees as “soft” in their approach to U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler’s impeachment vote. The article seemed to condemn a prayer which was, along with the Pledge of Allegiance, an integral part of the meeting. There seemed an implication that concern for Herrera Beutler’s well-being after harsh telephone calls was a thing for which one should feel guilt.
Compared to the article The Chronicle published online by The Seattle Times in which the Washington Democratic Committee Chair Tina Podlodowski labeled Republicans as misogynistic, racist and homophobic, I would rather unashamedly hold Republican values of compassion and decency any day.
Contrary to the article’s declaration that Lewis County Republicans have not been as strong as Clark and Cowlitz counties, Mr. Svenson, in fact, has led many heated debates with precinct members, citizens and the state GOP, even in advance of the other counties, over a possible censure. But, as I personally discovered, a censuring letter isn’t a solution.
As a veteran and with a background in agriculture, on Jan. 21, I wrote a letter to Herrera Beutler after her impeachment vote asking what she was going to do about the military persecution over party affiliation and immigration crisis, which will overwhelm legal immigrants that her vote had precipitated. I received the slick three-page production citing all her excuses complete with pictures which appears to have been sent to a large portion of the county, and she still didn’t bother to answer my questions.
I have never been involved in politics before, but I don’t believe the 2020 election was fairly conducted. I want the next election and next candidates to be ones I can trust. Mr. Svenson brought two of the candidates, Joe Kent and Wadi Yakhour, to talk to citizens.
He has contacted Heidi St. John to set up a meeting with her also. It will be a delicate balance to keep a Republican in the 3rd District while we’re looking for the person who will best serve the people of Washington state and not those in Washington, D.C.
To be blunt, once a selection is made, we will have to stand together or face a possible split in the party. Now is the time to learn everything possible about all of our candidates for 2022. Lewiscountyrepublicans.org has information on Republican events and lists the precinct committee officers and their locations. Some of the positions are vacant and begging for concerned citizens to apply for them. I intend on educating myself on my civic duties. I hope others might also be so inspired.
Editor’s note: The story cited by the letter writer was written with a combination of information from the meeting and a separate interview with Svenson.