Opinion: Do Republicans actually want to win elections?

Mark Moore
Mark Moore

Mark Moore provides an analysis of the recent Third Congressional District race and a glimpse of the next one

Mark Moore

When I speak with the average Republican voter, one of the most common sentiments is something akin to “I don’t care about the Republican party, there is too much infighting, can’t we just get along.” In some ways, this is a fair criticism. There has been a civil war of sorts raging at all levels of the Republican party for over a decade. Roughly speaking the combatants can be separated into two groups. The Establishment, which would include people like Senators Mitt Romney, Mitch McConnell, and Lindsey Graham and the second group are The America First Republicans. This group would obviously include President Trump, and Congressmen like Matt Gaetz, Jim Jordan, and Andy Biggs. It is worth noting that the strongest America First legislators are in the House of Representatives given they are the body closest to voters by design. While a restatement of this dynamic may seem unnecessary, it helps to set the context for how this plays out in individual races throughout the nation.

Over the last two-and-a-half years, throughout Clark County dozens of selfless, patriotic Republican activists have been working in a collaborative fashion in response to citizen’s call for unity within the Republican party. At the Dec. 10, 2022 organizational meeting of the Clark County Republican Party (CCRP), new leadership was elected by an overwhelming margin. The Precinct Committee Officers of the CCRP responded to the vision of a bottom-up organization in which the PCO’s would set the agenda for CCRP activities in our county. This phenomenon is occurring all across the nation and is referred to as “The Precinct Committee Strategy.” It is how common sense Americans are taking back control of a political process they see as having been hijacked by self serving, corrupt special interests. The establishment, or Uni-party, fears this movement and has been exerting intense pressure to kill its momentum.

Exactly how the establishment works against the grassroots is less obvious, but incredibly effective. They simply get us to fight amongst ourselves. While there are legitimate differences in conservative circles, they are absolutely not substantive enough to grant the opponent an unearned victory … and Republicans must learn this lesson.

The underbelly of the body politic is dark indeed. The darkest elements are Political Action Committees (PACs) and the Consultant Class, often these two groups work in close coordination. They clothe themselves in patriotic nomenclature, but in truth they hunger for nothing other than money and power. They view voters as “less than,” and abuse them through manipulation of the electoral process. With rare exception the political class holds the American citizen in utter contempt.

Super PACs are the “legal” mechanism for extremely wealthy donors to put their hands on the scale and influence elections in favor of their own interests. Most people would be shocked to learn that in the 2022 Third Congressional District race, for example, of the $14,000,000 spent against Joe Kent, about $10,000,000 of that money came from REPUBLICAN PACs. It is a quite reasonable question to ask why Republicans would spend so much money to defeat such a strong Republican candidate, in a reliably red district. Especially one who had the endorsement of former President Trump. The answer is, establishment Republicans would rather see a Democrat in that seat than an America First, Trump-endorsed candidate. When Joe Kent defeated Jaimie Herrera Beutler in the primary, he embarrassed the establishment, and so did the voters of the Third Congressional District. The people spoke, but the establishment never intended to respect the voice of the voters, and they haven’t forgotten their embarrassment.

Federal level house and senate races employ political “consultants” that help candidates navigate unfamiliar political terrain. These consultants are well connected with Washington D.C. insiders and fashion themselves as “kingmakers.” If a person has a low opinion of politicos in general, it would be appropriate to reserve the lowest opinion for the consultant class. Consultants charge campaigns tens of thousands of dollars per month, and are often on the payroll of multiple campaigns simultaneously. These consultants are rarely motivated by party or ideological loyalty and often work for both Democrats and Republicans. It might be helpful to think of this consultant class as the money changers in the temple courts mentioned in Gospels of Matthew and Mark. The more a given race costs overall, the more money the consultant makes, so they are incentivized to create contentious primaries. Like the old saying goes, war is profitable.

The months leading into election cycles are ironically referred to as “Consultant Fishing Season.” Consultants, often in coordination with PACs, are actively recruiting candidates for these races. Often, this recruitment occurs to the exclusion of local party leadership, especially if the intent is to be disruptive in the local environment. These consultants make lofty representations to prospective candidates about how much money can be raised on their behalf, how the real power players in DC see them as just the kind of person who can get things done, and that they are just the kind of person voters in the district will support. These prospective candidates are usually great citizens, and public servants. They are also human and when skillful political apparatchiks shower them with praise and inflated promises, it is reasonable to understand that they might lose sight of the broader mission being advanced by dedicated patriots throughout the district. The ugly truth however, is that consultants are not recruiting candidates, they are recruiting a paycheck because they get paid those exorbitant salaries no matter how poorly the candidate performs. In some special circumstances a consultant can enhance their compensation by coordinating with PACs that have a special interest in defeating a given candidate … for example a candidate who embarrassed them in a prior election cycle.

Here is where the rubber meets the road in Washington’s Third Congressional District. With even a rudimentary understanding of PACs and political consultants, how might an embarrassed Republican establishment endeavor to make trouble for the America First candidate who was the very source of their embarrassment? Would they benefit from another extremely contentious primary battle in the Third Congressional District? How might they provoke another civil war amongst Republican voters in Southwest Washington? Who benefits from the infighting?

In the 2022 Third Congressional District Democratic primary, candidate Brent Heinrich was the early leader, had raised a fair bit of money, and had good name recognition. He was a viable candidate, but when Marie Gluesenkamp Perez was advanced as a candidate by the Democratic establishment, Brent withdrew and vigorously supported her. The Democrats may represent everything vile in this world, but THEY KNOW HOW TO WIN.

When the Democrat machine in Southwest Washington saw the destructive infighting in the Republican primary, they simply seized the opportunity to flip the seat. Democrats are not stupid, and they don’t use their primary races to adjudicate hurt feelings.

There is a sole beneficiary of a contested Republican primary for the Third Congressional District – Marie Gluesenkamp Perez. Her Democrat handlers have skillfully positioned her as a moderate while she is anything but, voting in lockstep with the most radical Democrat agenda in American history. Given the fluidity of conscience within the consultant class, it is entirely feasible Democrats and establishment Republicans are coordinating to recruit candidates into the Third Congressional District race to aid Gluesenkamp Perez. Former vice chair of the Clark County Republican Party and political consultant, Kathy McDonald, did precisely this in 2022. It is becoming increasingly obvious there is an effort afoot to create a sequel.

It is crucial to understand two things if they are successful. An outlier Republican candidate creates a channel for dark money PACs to spend their millions against Joe Kent, it also keeps the Democratic National Committee engaged in this race, actively supporting Gluesenkamp Perez. A Republican Party, unified behind a single candidate cuts off the attack vector of the dark money PACs, and simultaneously creates an environment in which the DNC likely abandons Gluesenkamp Perez. The DNC knows the Third Congressional District is a reliably red district, they were only able to flip it with the help of the Republican establishment.

There are other consequences to a repeat of the 2022 primary. The Clark County Republican Party is at its healthiest state in over a decade. It has fresh, young leadership and a unified executive board. While this culture of respect and unity is young, the party has turned the ship and is heading in the right direction. It is critically important to understand that a bitter, protracted, primary battle in the high profile Third Congressional District race will not only undermine the efforts of Republicans in that race, it will very likely result in the factionalizing of every effort of the party.

Republicans in Southwest Washington are faced with a very serious question. Will they set aside minor differences and hurt feelings of the 2022 primary to unite behind a single candidate to retake the seat gifted to Democrats through acrimonious infighting? Will they deny the establishment forces intent on recreating a civil war in Washington’s Third Congressional District and advance the cause of liberty?

Will Republicans choose to understand that external forces, who have no interest whatsoever in the will of Southwest Washington voters, are currently at work setting the stage for another contentious primary fight in the Third Congressional District? Will they choose to understand the corrosive effect this will have on every Republican effort in our area for years? Most importantly, will Republicans choose to reject those efforts, forgive past offenses, and work collaboratively to elect Republicans?

If the answer to these questions is yes, then we will know that indeed, Republicans actually want to win elections.

Mark Moore is a Vancouver resident, Clark County business owner and a Clark County Republican Precinct Committee Officer.

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  1. Mark Engleman

    Real conservatives understand the political treachery explained in this article. And therefore if the vile establishment comes knocking with offers of fame and power. They will TELL THEM TO GO TO HELL.

  2. Glenn Kincaid

    Mr Moore is correct in all these examples. I’ve fought for 12 years to help this party and as a 6 year board member of the CCRP. I stand with Joe Kent 110%. If you want a win here in Clark County? You will as well?

  3. Thomas Schenk

    Mr Moore’s assessment is entirely correct.

    Republican voters in the 3rd Congressional District (3rd CD), in the 2022 mid-term election, stayed away in droves (thousands) and did not vote.

    Mid-term elections are notorious for low voter turnout and in this instance it not only cost us the 3rd CD, but similar turnouts in other CDs came uncomfortably close to preventing the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives.

    Republicans who chose not to vote in the 2020 midterms and other previous elections need to realize the apathy with which they approach their civic duty has translated into an ever increasing National debt and the near complete destruction of our rights under the Constitution.

    Republicans not voting have given, more or less, radical progressive Democrats free reign to shove America to a place we have never been before.

    One need only consider the amount of censorship being used to silence dissenting voices to understand what is happening in our Nation.

    Speak out in opposition to the accepted, Leftist, narrative and suffer the consequences.

    The forces arrayed against opposing viewpoints can readily be seen in the treatment of Supreme Court Justices, who stand accused of ethics violations in yet another attempt to hollow out recent rulings intended to return us to the original intent concept of our Constitution.

    We, as Republicans, have to vote and take back out Country or find ourselves down the road…saying… I should have voted when I had the chance to affect the outcome!

  4. Mike S.

    I began reading this opinion in the hope that local Republicans would wake up from their self conducted right wing conspiracy fever and rationally begin to plan for success. Ain’t gonna happen, apparently. Perez won because she had a message that resonated with Demos and Independents. Kent lost (and will lose again) because he’s a Trump acolyte who has a hazy source of finances/income and a destructive platform that bodes poorly for our future.
    The writer and the comments that follow show a “Take No Quarter” policy that destroys any hope for the bilateral necessity for government to function. And will guarantee the extreme right wing to remain howling in the wind.

    1. Nike Ajax

      So, If I follow “Mike S’s” recommendations correctly, then unless the “republican” candidate is the standard-issue spineless jellyfish, never-trumper Romney sell-out/backstabber that caves to the democrats in the MOST “bipartisan”/across the aisle fashion, I should pout, have a hissy-fit, throw a tempertantrum and not vote instead of rallying around the republican candidate? Unfortunately there are far too many of Mike S’s “republicans” currently in congress that are far too willing to let the democrats bugger them.

      1. Bill

        We need adults in the room willing to work across the spectrum, not whiners that work to shut things down when they don’t get their way. Real courage is working sometimes with people even when you disagree with them.

        The alternative option leaves us permanently at the “kids table” while laws are passed that we oppose.

  5. Joe K.

    The delusion in this letter and the comments is amazing. As Mr. Moore writes, “Her Democrat handlers have skillfully positioned her as a moderate while she is anything but, voting in lockstep with the most radical Democrat agenda in American history.” Does that include her “Yes” vote across the aisle for H.R.1? What makes any of you think that Kent actually cares about the district and the people inside of it? His message was pay2play from the very beginning, and that’s about as corrupt as it gets these days. Wake up and get off twitter for a a few weeks.

  6. Ron

    The election was stolen, the liberals are destroying our once great nation, the woke politicians and leftist socialists are driving our country toward communism!!! Did I hit all the trigger words? Holler out when you get a republican candidate that doesn’t spout this garbage and I will vote for him or her.

    1. Bill

      LOL, thanks Ron. I almost ignored your message (as I do whenever I see comments spouting such nonsense) but glad I finished reading yours!

  7. Carol

    This is an interesting article. Especially the part where: “Third Congressional District race, for example, of the $14,000,000 spent against Joe Kent, about $10,000,000 of that money came from Third Congressional District race, for example, of the $14,000,000 spent against Joe Kent, about $10,000,000 of that money came from REPUBLICAN PACs. It is a quite reasonable question to ask why Republicans would spend so much money to defeat such a strong Republican candidate, in a reliably red district. Especially one who had the endorsement of former President Trump. The answer is, establishment Republicans would rather see a Democrat in that seat than an America First, Trump-endorsed candidate. When Joe Kent defeated Jaimie Herrera Beutler in the primary…”
    Sounds like the Republican PAC are all Rinos.

    I am glad Kent got Jaime H. Beutler dethroned! Look at her voting score card.

    We are under fascist rule, with politicians obligated to the United Nations and the New World Order, which will be under China’s rule. Wasn’t Fauci’s bioweapon enhanced with the gain of function, in China? Do you like how China’s communist rule is lead?

    Kent wants us out of the UN. He has my vote, without giving him a dollar!
    Political parties have become businesses to make money. Fourteen million is a lot of money to go against your own party member. Think what that money could have done to improve the 3rd Congressional district!

    Neighbors be happy while you are being taxed to death during high inflation and can’t afford groceries. We are obligated repay the national dept which is being caused by our Democrat president and his party. Our president has made millions from his family’s illegal business deals. The corruption in this nation is not being addressed. Our dollar will crash. Our taxes are going to house and give welfare to the overflow of illegals coming into our nation, for this great reset. Our schools suck. Sex is more important than math. Reading and writing! Be happy when you lose your homes and businesses in the next lock down, predicted by Bill Gates who funds the UN. Do you want to eat the bugs and toxic food Gates is providing? Has Gate’s clot jabs have gone to your brains?
    “ Be happy when you own nothing!”
    We will have food shortages. Gates owns most of the farmland.
    Who made Bill Gates GOD?

  8. Carol

    This PO who wrote this article hurt the Republican party more than he knows.

    I will NEVER give another dollar to the Republican party again!

    1. Nike Ajax

      Carol, the ‘republican party” has been “hurting themselves” (mostly shooting themselves in the foot when they aren’t bending over for the democrats) for OVER 50 years. True, Trump is a totally flawed man, but what he brought to the debate was a breath of fresh air compared to the fetid swamp odors spewed by the GOPe and the Romney National Committee that spent the $10M to defeat Joe Kent. Maybe Joe Kent wasn’t the greatest thing since sliced bread, and he certainly didn’t walk on water, BUT he sure was head and shoulders above Hairy-Butless, the Two-faced one, and the sandbagger. The last thing the GOPe wants is somebody with a spine that won’t bend over when a democrat passes by. Yes, the GOPe does prefer any democrat, no matter how wakko, to anybody with a spine. Btw, ask McCarthy where the January 6th tapes are….. and, no, you should NOT give a penny to the GOPe OR the Romney National Committee.

  9. TJ

    We the people need to realize that the majority of the swamp is all on the same team. The way the people of the third district voted makes me think most of the republican voters are actually Rino’s. That’s who they were listening to during the campaign. It’s always amazing to me how money can buy people’s vote. Too many of us just believe what we hear without doing any of our own research. How many ” republicans” that refused to vote for Joe Kent bothered going to one of his town hall meetings and actually talking to him.

  10. Laurel Pascual

    I wish to thank Mark Moore letting us know the Third Congressional District either has a bunch of RINO’s or those misleading their donors. If this is true isn’t this fraud and grounds for a lawsuit? Who exactly allowed Republican donations to go to the Democrat Party? After reading his opinion, I believe if you wish to donate, give it directly to the candidate of your choice so you know where the money is going.

    Frankly, I am not convinced our elections are fair in Washington. It is very easy for people behind the scenes to cheat by not counting a ballot, changing a ballot, etc. A news article, 37,742 Rejected Ballots In 2022 General Election, in The Flame By Tamborine Borrelli (Election Integrity Advocate) happened in the state of Washington. It says Clark County there were over 3,000 challenged or rejected ballots.

    In a Judicial Watch Lawsuit Settlement, L.A. County Removes 1.2 Ineligible Voters in California. They also stopped discriminatory elections in Hawaii and cleaned up voter rolls in California, Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky. They also settled a lawsuit removing 441,083 ineligible names from New York City voter rolls. A lawsuit in North Carolina removed over 430,000 inactive from the voter rolls. (The Judicial Watch Verdict, May 2023) How much evidence do you need?

    Meantime Kari Lake in Arizona appeal has uncovered new facts. The Gateway Pundit, MASSIVE Machine Failures And Voter Disenfranchisement In Red Districts Of Maricopa County “Could Not Arise Absent INTENTIONAL MISCONDUCT” Says IT and Elections Expert, By Jordan Conradson Dec. 12, 2022 “Kari Lake’s historic lawsuit contesting the 2022 election includes sworn testimony from former voting machine tester and IT expert Clay Parikh, who stated that the massive printer and voting machine failures on election day “could not arise absent intentional misconduct.”” Violating A.R.S. 16-499. From Kari Lake War Room: “Maricopa County Attorney La Rue admitted in court that signature verification is a subjective & non-scientific process. … This is the only security measure for mail-in ballots in Maricopa County.”

    Meantime, it seems pretty obvious that the Biden Family and the Deep State are guilty of many things. Locally though, the City of Vancouver Mayor and council stopped allowing public comments during their televised meetings as of the end of 2022. They only allow the public to speak 4 times a year, off-site, not televised, on a subject of their choice. So much for the First Amendment! It sounds like a Communist move to me! I hope the people in our community remember that when they come up for election again. They obviously aren’t interested in what the people in Vancouver have to say. I agree with Carol that I would vote for Kent again who is trying to stop the UN Agenda 21 and 2030. They call it Sustainable Vancouver but it is really about control. We have no business being involved with the United Nations. Their goal is “One World One Nation” under Communism. Please be wise the next time you vote!

  11. Nike Ajax

    This quote from Revolver News: “One of the biggest and most perilous challenges the right faces isn’t the communist left. Rather, it lies within our own ranks — the treacherous RINOs. These traitors are the greatest obstacle in the war against the left. They are either inherently weak and cowardly, suffer from an extreme case of Trump Derangement Syndrome, or are globalists at heart. It could even be a combination of all three. The point is this — if we don’t get rid of these disloyal RINOs, we will never win. They stand as human barricades obstructing our path to victory.” This from an article about 4 “republican” senators (including Josh Hawley) that just stabbed real republicans in the back. McLame lives on…..

  12. Dennis Anderson

    Mark Moore’s article is so accurate, and BRILLIANTLY presented.
    Thank you CCRP for your excellent reorganization and focus in endorsing one candidate. Joe Kent is the absolute best choice. Well done!


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