Luanne Van Werven, candidate for WSRP Chair.
Luanne Van Werven, candidate for WSRP Chair.

Washington State Republican Party Vice Chair and current interim-chair Luanne Van Werven of Whatcom County has tossed her hat in the ring to be the next leader of the Washington State GOP.

In an email sent Friday and addressed to WSRP state committee members, Van Werven announced her candidacy and talked frankly about the route she took to a decision since Monday’s sudden resignation by former WSRP Chair Kirby Wilbur.

“When I woke up on Monday morning I did not expect that, by the end of the day, I would be the WSRP Interim-Chair, but I knew when I ran to be your Vice Chair that I needed to be prepared for this eventuality. With your votes cast in January, you placed your trust in me and in my ability to execute the duties of our Chair should the need arise.  And it now has. … And so I have decided to run for the position of permanent Chair of the WSRP,” Van Werven wrote.

Her appeal to the state party’s voting members brushed on three hot topics among state committee members — finances, fundraising and unity.

“I believe that quickly electing a permanent chair is best for the party and will provide stability and a smoother transition.  There is no time to lose; we need to get busy building the party and providing a solid financial base.”

“We must come together and strive for success as a united front, lest we become divided, broken and ineffective,” she added, echoing a refrain frequently heard in conversations among party insiders.

Van Werven also said she will use her role as interim-chair to immediately begin a fundraising effort.

“I’m not going to wait until after the election to start reaching out to donors. In fact, as Interim-Chair, I have already begun.”