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Focused on Winning in November, WAGOP hosts a record-setting state convention in Spokane

Bellevue—A record number of nearly 2,000 delegates from across Washington convened in Spokane last weekend for a live and spirited convention—reminiscent of the memorable political conventions of the 1950s and 1960s.

“The 2024 WAGOP State Convention was a real convention. Unscripted. Unchoreographed. Unpredictable,” says WAGOP Chairman Jim Walsh, who served as chair of the convention. “The People were in charge. They set the Rules. They made the decisions. Some people love the rough-and-tumble of politics, some don’t. Either way, our goal is to win in November.”

While some members of the press—not familiar with authenticity—fixated on the passions of a real convention, the delegates conducted business as planned. They endorsed candidates in one United States Senate contest, several other statewide office races, and ten Congressional races.

The endorsed statewide candidates include Raul Garcia, U.S. Senate; Semi Bird, Governor; Pete Serrano, Attorney General; Sue Kuehl Pederson, Commissioner of Public Lands; Matt Hawkins, Auditor; Dale Whitaker, Secretary of State; and David Olson, Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Endorsed congressional candidates include Jeff Brewer, 1st District; Joe Kent, 3rd District; Jerrod Sessler, 4th District; Brian Dansel, 5th District; Drew MacEwan, 6th District; Cliff Moon, 7th District, Carmen Goers, 8th District, and Narav Sheth, 10th District.

The Convention also elected delegates and alternates to attend the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, WI, later this summer.

Finally, the Convention approved a WAGOP Platform that makes strong statements about public policy and needed reform.

The common theme: Current one-party Democrat rule in Olympia no longer works. For anyone. “The People of Washington want a state where the Constitution is revered and where individual rights and liberties are protected and celebrated—and where top-down authoritarianism is overturned,” says Chairman Walsh.

Nine initiatives, written by Chairman Walsh, who is also a state legislator, were also front and center at the state convention. Three will soon become law. Three will appear on the ballot in November. And three more could also appear be on that ballot—though the time-window for gathering the required signatures for those is tight.

Most of the talk at the Convention focused on the three initiatives that are certain to be on the November ballot: I-2117/ Repeal the WA Cap-and-Trade Tax SchemeI-2109/ Repeal the Capital Gains Excise Tax and I-2124/ Opt Out of the “Long Term Care” Payroll Tax. “There was near 100% enthusiastic support for these three initiatives,” says Chairman Walsh.

He adds: “There was also general support for the newest ones—especially for the initiative to repeal HB 1589, the ‘sort-of’ ban on natural gas in Washington. The People’s interest in that one is clearly the strongest.”

Now that the WAGOP Convention has adjourned, Chaiman Walsh says conservatives are energized and looking forward to the state primary and the general election. “My job is to unite people behind common-sense conservative candidates, and I will do that. I’ve said all along winning in November is our goal.”