Letter: ‘We, as Republican voters, can unify behind that one candidate and take back the 3rd Congressional District’

Amboy resident Thomas Schenk offers his views on the challenge Republicans face in the Third Congressional District race.

Editor’s note: Opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the author alone and do not reflect the editorial position of ClarkCountyToday.com

Regarding a recent Opinion written by Mark Moore, I would like to offer an additional point for Republican Precinct Committee Officers (PCOs) and Republican voters to carefully and honestly consider.

Thomas Schenk
Thomas Schenk

Sadly, today we are saddled with what is typically called a “jungle primary”. No longer can we, as Republican voters, select our candidates for office, in this case the 3rd Congressional District, through the former Republican Primary process.

The Primary provided individuals interested in being a Republican candidate for office a process to put their names in front of Republican voters and, ultimately, one candidate would be selected to move on to the General Election to vie with a Democrat candidate and maybe several other minor party candidates, for, in this case the 3rd Congressional District.

We Republicans are now relegated, in my opinion, to using the “recognition and endorsement” process of the Clark County Republican Party (CCRP) as a de facto Republican Primary.
PCOs who vote to recognize or not recognize candidates have a similar effect as the former Republican Primary…a slate of candidates is winnowed down to one candidate to run as the Republican.

Unfortunately, this de facto Primary does not prevent an “unrecognized” candidate from continuing to run as a Republican thereby diluting our Republican votes and likely giving the elective office to the Democrat.

Republican PCOs and the potential Republican candidates need to accept this de facto Primary process; and when debate and discussion have concluded…and the votes of the PCOs have been counted, recognizing and endorsing one candidate to move forward to the “jungle primary” and to the General Election, we, as Republican voters, can unify behind that one candidate and take back the 3rd Congressional District.

Acceptance of this de facto Primary process by Republican PCOs, candidates and, ultimately, Republican voters, is necessary for success in retaking the 3rd Congressional District and the same holds true for any Republican seeking elective office.

Until the “Jungle Primary” is done away with in the State of Washington, we have no choice, in my opinion, but to “primary” our candidates via the recognition and endorsement process by the CCRP body.

Thomas Schenk

Also read:


  1. Stephen W. Mosier

    Mr. Schenk wrote, “PCOs who vote to recognize or not recognize candidates have a similar effect as the former Republican Primary…a slate of candidates is winnowed down to one candidate to run as the Republican.”

    That’s a bad idea for the reason that to take away the right of the voters to select a nominee during the primary election process, or, to diminish the value of Republican friendly voters in the primary by so stacking the deck in favor of the Party’s choice, that any vote cast for another candidate is meaningless, will cause resentment and frustration, and will depress–not raise–all efforts to rally support around the Party Anointed One going into the general election. It is a recipe for failure.

    There are other reasons it is a bad idea. One which is slightly less obvious than that just mentioned but I think even more telling of how bad the current action of the CCRP is, can be seen by looking at the 2024 governor’s race. Already there are at least three GOP hats in the ring for primary selection and already concerns are being expressed about another “crowded primary” which many believe was the reason Inslee was reelected in 2020; and we certainly don’t want to make the same mistakes again in 2024. Which begs the questions:

    Will the CCRP leadership who have taken upon themselves to dictate to the voters who they must all unify around without a true primary contest in the 3rd CD race, concede the same power to the Washington State Republican Party (WSRP) leadership to dictate to us their favorite pick in the race for governor in 2024? Will they call for the voters to unify around whoever the WSRP chooses for us without the voters having any voice in the decision?

    I don’t think so. They will not want to live by the precedent that they themselves are now trying to establish. And for good reason. It’s a bad idea.

    1. Lila

      Well said, Stephen.

      I would add that it’s important for all voters be heard, particularly when the CCRP does not have a good track record. Joe Kent like Beutler and others has not been properly vetted. No one has asked any questions about Joe Kent’s professional background. Do you all truly believe that Joe Kent is no longer a CIA operative after being employed by the CIA for 2 years?

      Things simply don’t add up. Kent allegedly is from Oregon and grew up in Portland, but only moved to Yacolt right before running after living in Maryland and Virginia during most of his adult life. How does he claim he only spent 2 years in the CIA? Once you’re a CIA operative you’ll always be one. What company does he claim to work for as a project manager? How does a “military veteran” have a net worth of 1.5 million (with at least 2 homes) unless he is still working for the CIA who is funding his campaign? What is his association with the founders (also “former” CIA employees) of Black Rifle Coffee who publicly disparaged Trump and his supporters? Why is it that all the wonderful stories about Kent and his late wife were written in the very recent past.

  2. Tom Schenk

    Mr. Mosier is correct in much of what he says. The problem is the “Jungle Primary”…in my opinion, designed to water down the election process in the State of Washington. The question is how best to combat this situation, whether at the local level or the State level.

    Precinct Committee Officers (PCOs) are elected or deemed elected, if there is no challenger, and represent approximately 1500 Republican voters in each precinct, give or take. Are PCOs any different than our other elected officials representing us in Olympia or Washington D.C.? We put our faith in those representatives to faithfully express in their votes, the will of the citizens back home. PCOs are the same and are closest to those citizens back home.

    In a perfect world, voters would and should be able to vote for the candidate of their choice and win or lose…get behind whichever candidate wins the Primary. We are not in a perfect world and we are stuck with the “Jungle Primary”…therefore, we have to contemplate, in potentially, novel ways…how to overcome an onerous and odious system purported to be a “fair” way to select our candidates for office.

    I thank Mr. Mosier for his input into this conundrum…without the chance to debate and discuss the differing viewpoints, how is progress made in resolving these differences? I hope others will engage in the debate so we can achieve some agreement as to the optimal way forward.

    We must, in the final analysis, jettison the “Jungle Primary”…exactly how to accomplish that feat remains to be seen.

    Tom Schenk
    PCO 538

  3. Lila

    If your definition of “unity” requires forcing others to surrender their principles, then you need a dictionary because that is not what “unity” means.

  4. Tom Schenk

    I see how this works Lila…you disagree with my stance on using the closest political subdivision to voters, Precinct Committee Officers (PCOs), each representing around fifteen hundred voters in Clark County Precincts, to create a form of Republican Primary so we are not completely at the mercy of the “Jungle Primary”.

    In arriving at a candidate to challenge far left Democrat Maria Gluesenkamp-Perez in the 3rd Congressional District, as I am suggesting, you claim you are forced to “surrender your principles”, because you can’t vote for the candidate of your choice. That choice was impacted with the creation of the “Jungle Primary”.

    Is it your assertion then, the current Primary system doesn’t impact your vote negatively…does it not dilute yours and other Republican votes to the detriment of the process of selecting our candidate?

    Under your thought process, your definition of unity is the only correct viewpoint and I must therefore “surrender my principles” to your definition.

    The current flawed “Jungle Primary”, forces Republicans to try a different approach nominating a candidate…ideally we should have a Republican Primary so every Republican voter has their say on who the candidate should be, but that’s not the present situation…and until we get back to a standard Republican Primary, if we want to win back the 3rd, we have to try a different approach.

    It falls then to voters in each precinct to contact their PCO to advocate for the candidate of their choice and let the process unfold.

    In the meantime, we should all be trying to figure out a way to dispatch the “Jungle Primary” to the dustbin of history, where it belongs.


Leave a Reply

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