WA - Future of state GOP may be decided in precinct battlesSubmitted by mdknauss on Thu, 08/16/2012 - 14:51
"Winners of the least visible contests in the primary could change the direction of the Republican Party in Snohomish County and even the state.
To the victors will also go the important spoil of picking leaders for the county party later this year and the state GOP in January.
That's what motivated libertarian-minded backers of U.S. Rep. Ron Paul and fans of conservative former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum to seek precinct seats in Snohomish County and across the state. For many, it meant taking on fellow Republicans backed by the establishment, including incumbent precinct officers.
Paul supporters know they won't win them all. They only need to win enough to be a numeric force in December when all the precinct officials gather to elect new leaders for the county party.
"We did well," said Michelle McIntyre of Everett, a vocal Paul supporter and a victorious precinct candidate. "The Ron Paul people and the other conservatives are going to have a strong presence at the reorganization meeting."
In King County, the insurgent threat rattled a few nerves. The King County Republican Party endorsed candidates for precinct committee officer then mailed voters a postcard -- funded by the Washington State Republican Party -- with their recommendation.
Party bosses consider the insurgency large enough for worry yet too small for fear. They said they expect Paul backers will get their hands on a few levers of power but not enough to pull off an overthrow come January."