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WA GOP Chairman on Sen. Bailey’s retirement, and CNN skipping Inslee

The Washington State Capitol Building in Olympia. (AP)

After serving for 16 years, Oak Harbor Republican State Senator Barbara Bailey is calling it quits, retiring at the end of next month. Her retirement comes at a time when Republicans are already lacking control in both chambers. So what exactly is the plan to replace her?

Washington state GOP Chairman Caleb Heimlich joined the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH to discuss what this means for state Republicans, and how Inslee may be at the end of the line for his campaign.

“More so than just losing the incumbent, Barbara Bailey was a great senator. Great legislator. So she will be deeply missed, just her presence in Olympia and in the community there in the 10th legislative district,” Heimlich said. “It is going to be a battle. But we’re up for the challenge, and I’m confident in the process that we will have a strong candidate emerge, and then we’re committed to working with the county parties, growing our grassroots up there to make sure we hold on to that important legislative seat.”

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Bailey’s departure is not happening in a bubble. Puyallup state senator Hans Zeiger is leaving to run for the Pierce County Council at the same time, and then Rep. Chris Gildon is running to fill that vacant Senate position, which then means there’s a vacant House position.

“I think there’s a couple candidates that are still kind of kicking the tires, looking at taking a run for Chris Gildon’s House seat. But that’s another one. We’re obviously absolutely committed to holding onto the 25th,” he said. “We had great campaigns with Chris and Kelly Chambers back in 2018 to hold those two house seats and we’ll have to do it again in 2020.”

On Inslee not making CNN climate change debate

Governor Jay Inslee has singularly focused on the climate change as his premier issues in running for president, and demanded a climate change debate. So now one’s gonna happen on CNN. The only problem: He’s polling so low that he didn’t actually make the cut.

“But frustratingly still for the taxpayers of Washington State, he’s still campaigning, he’s still running around the country, still racking up the bill for his security costs that we’re forced to subsidize,” he said. “He has now hit the donor threshold, he’s raised money from 130,000 people across the country, but that has not translated at all into support in terms of polling.”

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“So I think based on the fact that he’s got 130,000 donors, he should have more than enough money to write the taxpayers of Washington state a check that’s got to be north of a million dollars paying for his security costs as he’s been embarking on this vanity run for the White House,” he added.

Heimlich believes that all signs are pointing to the campaign ending soon.

“I think it’s getting to the end of the line. I mean, between the climate change town hall that he didn’t qualify for, he has one week to qualify for the September debate, and still to this day, he has never polled above 2 percent and he would have to do that four times, so he will not be on the debate stage in September,” said Heimlich.”

“So at that point, I don’t know why he continues in the race,” he continued. “I would anticipate him dropping out pretty soon and there’s the possibility that he’s running for re-election for a third, which means all bets are off. We have to do everything we can to flip Washington state to elect a governor that actually wants the job.”

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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