In my view, both the local Democratic and Republican parties should be throughly embarrassed they could not field any better quality candidates than we are now stuck with. Although the county is made up of primarily centrists, we get to choose between the radical activist fringes Josh Brown and Jack Hamilton each represent because their respective parties are controlled by extremists to whom ideological purity is more important than consensus and pragmatism.
Local Democrats march to the drum of a shrill, vocal, and uncompromising, radical environmentalist agenda personified by Beth Wilson, Tom Donnelly, Gene Bullock, et. al. Centrist Democrats who challenge the greenies do not even stand a chance of even being heard — much less getting to run for office.
Republicans on the other hand have to swear allegiance to an ultra-conservative version of God, George Bush, country, unrestricted property rights, and also please Lois McMahan and her minions, while promising to oppose the right to choose, before they can be “blessed” to run.
What is wrong with this picture?
It is also a very sad commentary on the state of the Kitsap County Republican Party that they could not even find candidates for — much less get someone elected to — the $100,000+ jobs of County Auditor, Clerk and Treasurer. Could it be that moderate, centrist Republicans cannot — or refuse to — deal with the unrealistic crap demanded by the ultra-conservative leadership of the party? You almost have to feel sorry for party chair Matt Cleverley, who is actually more of a centrist than the redical right wing nut job he has been portrayed as, and takes his marching orders from the likes of Shirley Brown, Lois McMahan, Willis Papillion, et. al.
Cleverley is going to take the heat for this debacle no matter what happens — but especially if Josh Brown is elected commissioner — and should do himself a huge favor and resign while he still has the opportunity.
But what baffles me, is why, since they are outnumbered — especially in North Kitsap — everyday Republicans don't take back control of their party back from the ultra-conservatives and religious right, who are actually in the minority. They have the most to gain by doing so. There are literally thousands of moderate and conservative Democrats who are fed up with the elitist, ultra-liberal politics of their own local party, and could possibly be convinced to switch if the leadership of the local GOP changed and moved the party back towards the center. You would also see more moderate Republicans actually getting involved as well.
The question is, will anyone actually step up and do anything to make that happen?