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WA GOP chairman explains where the party goes post-Trump

Supporters take a selfie with a Trump branded bus outside a rally for Georgia Republican Senate candidates David Perdue (R-GA) and Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) on December 20, 2020 in Cumming, Georgia. (Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)

With a new administration in the White House, what does the Washington state GOP need to do in order to remain competitive and gain some more momentum to make shifts in policy? Washington State Republican Party Chairman Caleb Heimlich joined the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH to share his thoughts for how the party moves forward in the next few years and the necessary next steps.

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“First and foremost, I think it’s important to keep everything in perspective about where we’re at today, just nationally, our country is very evenly divided,” Heimlich said. “I mean, we have a 50/50 split in the state Senate, Republicans gained congressional seats. And so for people that are bemoaning the kind of death of the Republican Party, that is vastly overstating things.”

“President Trump’s policies were very popular, especially across the country, and so for us here in Washington state, it’s focusing on highlighting those policies, especially as Joe Biden — or now President Biden — seeks to undo them as they’re starting to raise taxes,” Heimlich added.

As the Biden administration and Governor Jay Inslee push what he calls “a radical agenda,” Heimlich says Washington needs to get people involved and organized to get Republicans elected locally and build a “red wave heading into 2022.”

“For us, it’s that focus on getting people involved, getting people organized, building the infrastructure so we can take advantage, so we can get good people elected locally in 2021, and we can take advantage of 2022 because, historically, the first midterm has been good for the opposition party,” he said.

“… So as I sit here today, what I see in the future is a real opportunity, an opportunity to highlight the overreach, the radical agenda that the Democrats are pushing, and an opportunity to start making some gains, making progress here in Washington state,” he added.

Jason pointed out that there is more division now, even within the party, than ever before, and a clear effort to get people away from the Republican Party. To change that narrative, Heimlich says it starts with Republicans condemning violence, including the attack at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

“I think it starts by asserting that, one, we’re against that type of political violence,” he said. “… We have to get back to our core principles, principles of the rule of law, of protecting individual rights, of protecting individual freedoms, of smaller, limited constitutional government. And if we stand boldly for those principles, I think those principles really resonate.”

The playbook, Heimlich said, as he sees it for the party is to assert the principles, condemn violence, and then stand boldly for what the party stands for.

“My message is pretty simple: We need to be about winning elections,” he said. “I mean, that’s why we exist is to get people elected. … We need everybody working together in order to win. We need the very, very conservative folks to get engaged, to come out, to vote, and to speak out and share and stand for their values. We also need more moderate Republicans, we need them voting for our candidates in order to win.”

“There’s not enough Republican votes in the state to win just on a strict conservative message alone. And so my message to everybody on all sides of the Republican Party is let’s focus on the areas where we agree,” he added.

Heimlich suggests working to unify the party, then get people elected locally and start winning back some seats in 2022.

“We can only do that if we’re working together. Not if we’re fighting each other,” he said.

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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