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  A Republican Renewal in Washington State
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ContributorRalphie 
Last EditedRalphie  Jul 24, 2006 06:58pm
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CategoryBlog Entry
News DateTuesday, July 25, 2006 12:00:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionIn the mid-1960s and 70s, Republicans like Dan Evans and Slade Gorton introduced a moderate conservatism that took the state by storm. Both men were elected to the State's highest offices: Governor and Attorney General--and later went on to represent Washington in the U.S. Senate. But in recent memory, Republicans have faced a tougher challenge at the ballot box. Candidates like Ellen Craswell, Linda Smith, and John Carlson electrified the right wing of the GOP but proved unsuccessful.

In 2006, if the candidates were still Craswell and Carlson--perhaps Republicans would yet again face electoral defeat. But the state GOP has returned to a moderate-friendly message and recruited a competitive crop of candidates to deliver it.

At least three Republicans are working to change the firebrand mold, and a fourth has picked up the torch. They are: Dino Rossi, Rob McKenna, Dave Reichert, and now Mike McGavick. Remember their names, because they represent not only the best hope of electoral success for the GOP, but also a return to an enchanting conservatism in the Evergreen state. This dynamic foursome shares a common strategy of re-inventing the conservative image, taking the edge off what many moderates and independents viewed as an agenda that was too far-right. Rather than throwing lightening rods, the new slate of Republican candidates are returning to the trail blazed by Evans and Gorton, working above all to craft a moderate message that makes successful inroads to the voting public.
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