Clark County Republican Party rejects recognizing Leslie Lewallen for Congress

Clark County Republican Party (CCRP) reinforces its endorsement of Joe Kent's campaign against Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, as the party rejects recognizing Leslie Lewallen as a Republican candidate for Congress in the Third Congressional District, citing potential divided support and the priority of defeating Perez.
CCRP Chairman Matthew Bumala • Leslie Lewallen • Joe Kent

Precinct Committee Officers send clear message of their support for Joe Kent

Ken Vance, editor
Clark County Today

The Clark County Republican Party (CCRP) is doubling down on its support for Joe Kent’s attempt to unseat Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez in the Third Congressional District. Perez defeated Kent by less than 1 percent in the November general election.

The CCRP conducted a “Special Meeting” on Thursday (July 13) to vote on recognizing candidates as Republicans that were missed by error at their last central committee meeting in May. The original intent for the meeting was to have three candidates from Battle Ground who

were running for City Council to be on the agenda, however two of those candidates dropped out after the meeting was announced and only one remained – C.R. Wiley.

Meanwhile, two additional candidates sought recognition from the CCRP in advance of the meeting – Gary Perman for Camas City Council and current Camas City Council Member Leslie Lewallen for Congress in the Third 3rd Congressional District.

The Precinct Committee Officers (PCOs) in the meeting voted to amend the agenda to allow Perman and Lewallen to be added. Both were present, along with C.R. Wiley to present themselves before the body.

After each candidate spoke, individuals within the body could speak in favor of recognizing the candidate or against. C.R. Wiley was voted in favor without any objection. Gary Perman was voted in favor without any objection. However, the debate regarding Lewallen being recognized had strong dissent. Ultimately, the body voted 22 in favor and 46 against.

According to the bylaws for the CCRP, recognizing a candidate as a Republican is a process in which the governing body of PCOs can acknowledge that a candidate is a Republican after that candidate has given a proper request and has expressed that they agree with the CCRP’s

platform and principles. It’s not a guarantee that they will be approved, like in the case of Lewallen.

“Many might wonder why the PCOs voted against recognizing Leslie Lewallen,’’ wrote CCRP Chairman Matthew Bumala in a statement. “She was previously recognized when she ran for Camas City Council, so why not recognize her now? Some of those in favor of recognizing her expressed that it should not be a big issue to simply acknowledge that she’s a Republican.

“Those who were against expressed that according to the bylaws, if a candidate is recognized it would avail them to CCRP resources and privileges beyond simply being acknowledged as a Republican,’’ Bumala stated. “However, there was also a resounding sentiment coming from those that spoke against recognizing Lewallen. That sentiment was that they felt she was a good, quality conservative, however, the body had already voted in very strong support for Joe Kent to be endorsed for Congress back in May. There was also many that expressed that they’d be happy to support her in other races – just not for Congress. Ultimately, the great majority of the PCOs felt that any divided support for multiple candidates in this particular race would only hurt the cause of defeating Marie Gleusenkamp Perez.

“The vote to reject recognition for Lewallen was a clear message that the PCO body is doubling down on their support for Joe Kent – not a rejection of her personally,’’ Bumala stated.

Also read:


  1. Born in Washington

    We don’t need a repeat of last election. Kent is our best bet. Are the other candidates going to be trogan horses for dark money like last election..

  2. Alessia

    The party’s failure to recognize Ms. Lewallen, a fellow Republican candidate, sends a chilling message to aspiring politicians and voters alike. It essentially states that divergent opinions, even from within the same party, will not be tolerated. This type of narrow-mindedness stifles intellectual diversity and fosters an environment of groupthink that is detrimental to the progress of any society.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *