Mayfield: An open letter to Washington State Republicans

Jun 8, 2023, 7:48 AM | Updated: 9:41 am


A view of Olympia, with the state capitol building (Photo from Flickr)

(Photo from Flickr)

Dear Washington State Republicans, now is your time. Today is your day. This is the moment.

You have a small window open right now, and if you are reasonable, rational, and smart — and dare I even say kind — you can crawl through that window, go around and open a door and let the rest of us walk through it.

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Whether you have any conservative leanings or not, you should care about what happens next for what used to be the Grand Old Party.

We are a better, more functional democracy when there is a genuine debate with facts, logic, and a mutual aim of bettering our state.

A one-party rule may seem like fun to those in control, but how long will the fun really last? Democrats and progressives need to be challenged. They need to be called out. They need to be reminded of other experiences.

That’s what a healthy opposition party is supposed to do.

And above all else, the two sides – debating in good faith – are supposed to be working toward a real compromise.

Washington State Republicans, your longtime party chair, is stepping down. You don’t have a big name declared in the Governor’s race. You are firmly in the minority in both the State House and State Senate.

But I know you have smart people either in your party now who are keeping a low profile or who would be in your party if you’d set aside the inflammatory, tribal, bomb-throwing, conspiracy-minded agenda and return to the topics most Washingtonians want to discuss: taxes, the economy, the unhoused crisis, drugs, and crime. While also offering open-minded and open-hearted counterarguments on social issues.

Remember when you had statewide Republicans in office? People like Kim Wyman and Rob McKenna, or even going back a few years to Sam Reed and Slade Gorton. These were rational people who used logic and heart to champion fact-based conservative ideas and who compromised where they needed to. They weren’t perfect, but they made our state a better place to live.

Washington State Republicans, please, I am begging you to find a way forward to a better place for all of us.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Mayfield: An open letter to Washington State Republicans