Mainstream Republicans of Washington meeting this weekend


The Mainstream Republicans of Washington will meet in Yakima this weekend, with gubernatorial candidate Dave Reichert giving a keynote address on Saturday.

The group's Cascade Conference will include discussions on natural gas, Snake River dams, redistricting in Central Washington and fentanyl. It runs Friday through Sunday.

The conference will begin Friday evening with a panel of congressional candidates from across Washington moderated by state Rep. Jim Walsh, R-Aberdeen, the Washington State Republican Party Chairman. The forum is slated to include candidates Michael Baumgartner, Fifth District; Leslie Lewallen, Third District; Drew MacEwen; Sixth District; Carmen Goers, Eighth District; and Jacquelin Maycumber, Fifth District.

Saturday's agenda includes discussions on natural gas, Snake River dams, issues surrounding fentanyl and redistricting. The redistricting panel will include Sen. Nikki Torres of Pasco, Jackson Maynard, former Secretary of State Sam Reed and Maia Espinoza. They'll discuss changes to the legislative district map imposed by a court this spring in a case that centered on Latino representation the Yakima Valley.

U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse, Fourth District, is scheduled to speak in a panel discussion about the Snake River dams and welcome attendees on Friday night.

Reichert, who withdrew from the GOP convention endorsement process in April, will be the conference's keynote speaker Saturday evening. Semi Bird won the GOP endorsement for governor in Spokane and is not on the Cascade Conference schedule.

Dr. Raul Garcia of Yakima, who is running for U.S. Senate, and Jaime Herrera-Beutler, a congresswoman who is running for Commissioner of Public Lands, also are scheduled to speak. Yakima County Commissioner Amanda McKinney is scheduled to join the panel discussion about natural gas.

Mainstream Republican chair Deanna Martinez of Moses Lake said in a news release it was appropriate to have the conference in Yakima this year given the redistricting discussion.

The conference dates to 1969, and features Republican candidates and discussions about emerging political trends and issues.

"Independent voices on our side of the aisle are all the more important in years like this one," Martinez said in a news release. "Mainstream Republicans of Washington stands ready, willing and able to channel support to candidates who can appeal to the broad electorate."

The event will take place at the Yakima Convention Center, and will be broadcast on TVW. Registration is available online at


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