Rep. Committee votes for candidates it will support in primary

The Washington County Republican Central Committee held a meeting March 21 to vet candidates running in the May 21 primary election. From left, True Pearce, Jim Harberd, Josh Dolton, Ron Pound, Matt Thomas (speaking), Lisa Collini, and Cole Uhlenkott, representing Gordon Wilkerson.
Philip A. Janquart
The Washington County Republican Central Committee met on Thursday, March 21 at the Snake River Heritage Center in Weiser.
 The purpose of the meeting was to vote on which candidates the Republican party would support in the upcoming primary election scheduled for May 21, 2024.
 The meeting, which featured a forum including local Republican candidates, was convened according to Washington County Republican bylaw Article 1, Sec. 1(d), according to WCRCC Chairman Kirk Chandler.
 Candidates were required to receive, “a vote of confidence from at least 50 percent of the attending precinct persons,” Chandler said, reading from a copy of the bylaw. “After receiving an affirmative vote of no less than 50 percent of the precinct persons in attendance, qualified candidates may expect support from the Washington County Central Committee.”
 Held in the Heritage Center’s auditorium, the meeting was well attended by the public.
 Candidates included Jim Harberd and Lisa Collini who are running for the Washington County Commissioner, District 1 seat. 
 Gordon Wilkerson is running for re-election for the District 3 position, but was unable to attend due to a speaking engagement with the Weiser River Cattle Association regarding herd districts and wolf depredation issues. 
 Cole Uhlenkott was allowed to represent Wilkerson by vote of attending precinct persons. He provided an introduction, but did not provide answers to subsequent questions on Wilkerson’s behalf.
 Also participating were Washington County Prosecuting Attorney candidates Josh Dolton and True Pearce, as well as county Sheriff’s candidates Ron Pound and current Sheriff Matt Thomas.
 “The questions were handed out to the candidates before the meeting and were asked by the precinct members,” Chandler stated in a post-event press release. “Only the precinct members in attendance vote[d]. Lisa Collini is not a precinct member and did not vote.”
 A ballot was handed out following the forum, precinct members voting to support Matt Thomas for Sheriff, True Pearce for Prosecutor, Gordon Wilkerson for District 3 and Lisa Collini for District 1.
 “We would like to thank everyone who came and took part in the meeting,” Chandler stated in his press release. “The candidates selected can say they have been supported by the State Republican Party and by their county Republican Party. This is the first time the Washington County Republican Committee has publicly supported candidates in the primary election.”


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