One power player in statewide Republican politics whose name has mentioned as one who might step in to take the reins Washington State Republican Party is taking his own name off the list of potential candidates.
In a commentary published Wednesday by The Everett Herald, former state Attorney General Rob McKenna announced he will not seek the votes of his party’s central state committee when they meet later this month to elect a new chair. In the thoughtful piece – well worth your time to read in full – McKenna also gave considerably more than two cents-worth of insight about the direction of the GOP in Washington State.
“While I appreciate the encouragement from many Republicans across the state — and The Herald — I will not be running for party chair. I’ve just returned to private law practice as a partner at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, and my professional focus is there,” McKenna said.
McKenna, citing his own career in elected office and the experience of running three statewide campaigns (two successful), also offered three criteria the WSRP could use when selecting its new CEO and standard-bearer: 1. grassroots organizing experience, 2. demonstrated skills in defining the differences between Republicans and Democrats to voters and the media, and 3. an ability to raise lots and lots of funds to ensure that skills defined by numbers 1 and 2 are fully utilized.
McKenna had been The Herald’s early pick for WSRP chair, an odd impulse for the left-leaning Snohomish County daily newspaper’s editorial page, especially in light of recent history when Western Washington media wades into comment on internal Republican affairs.
Many will remember The Seattle Times standout endorsement in 2011 of then-incumbent Luke Esser to keep his seat. Esser was defeated in something of a landslide by Kirby Wilbur, who party members must replace after his early resignation during a second term.