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November 14, 2012 at 7:00 AM

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Chances of Republican governorship in Washington state

Republican branding

Regarding “Can a Republican regain Washington’s governorship?” Joe Delmore completely misses the point that the Republican Party has changed its brand in the eyes of Washington voters [Opinion, Nov. 13].

The party has not forgotten its roots of hard work and enterprise, belief in God and fiscal conservatism; it is just that it has become too extreme regarding those values. It has become obsessed with imposing its religious values on everyone else by force of law. It seems to assume that anyone not working refuses to work or those making too little to pay taxes are beyond consideration of compassion.

I don’t believe Rob McKenna espoused these extreme beliefs, but with a “R” after his name, he was branded with the Republican brand. Until the brand is changed, Republicans will not be elected to statewide office unless the Democrats field “Jack the Ripper.”

— DeVere Lindh, Federal Way

GOP exclusivity

As a lifelong Independent, I feel compelled to comment on Joe Delmore's op-ed and address “The D’s have it” letter below it, touting the superiority of Rob McKenna [“Northwest Voices,” Nov. 13]. While I have voted for both Republicans and Democrats for more than 50 years, I find I am increasingly of a more liberal-progressive stance on social and economic matters, especially since the fiscal calamity of 2008. Both authors have the seeds of the answer to the question.

Mainly, the Democratic Party at least makes the attempt to be inclusive, while the GOP continues down the road of exclusivity. Delmore speaks of hard work, enterprise, a belief in God and fiscal conservatism, as if to imply that all liberals or Democrats are lazy, shiftless, atheists and spendthrifts. I would think Jim Sinegal or Bill Gates to be a good local example refuting such beliefs.

McKenna aligned himself on the Capitol steps with the tea party and litigated against Obamacare. He may be a more experienced executive, but these stances alone made it impossible for people like me to vote for him, or for anyone who believes we can cut and gut our way to fiscal solvency.

— Daniel Bailey, Sammamish

GOP needs a creative approach

At one point in my life I supported Republican candidates for governor in Washington state. However, as the party drifted into a kind of “never-never land” of odd and odder candidates, I have not seriously entertained voting for a Republican governor for many, many years. This year I paused to give consideration to Rob McKenna.

Two things ultimately prevented me from casting my vote in his direction: the decision to move our state into litigation over the Affordable Health Care Act and his stance on gay marriage.

Much has been written recently about the state of the Republican Party. Somehow I just don't see how a return to “pragmatic conservative roots based on the fundamental values of hard work and enterprise, a belief in God and fiscal conservatism” will save the Republican Party in Washington state. That train has already left the station.

Something more is required and it begins with a creative approach to governance that acknowledges our very real difficulties in the world today and seeks, with an open mind and heart, to find solutions that lift us all.

— Laurie Rudel, Lake Forest Park

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