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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spin Control

Party time

The top-two primary continues to give candidates a chance to show creativity to dream up political parties. Under the old law, a candidate claiming to be a member of a minor party with a clever name had to take the rudimentary steps of forming it, collecting signatures at a special gathering.

Because candidates no longer run as a member of any party, the ballot merely says which they prefer. This leads to some Republicans saying they prefer the GOP Party (yes, it’s a redundancy, but never mind) or the Independent R Party. Some who say they are independent, and put that down in the box on their candidate form, get listed as preferring the Independent Party, which sounds like something else entirely. Ronnie Rae, a candidate in the 7th District, listed his preference as Centralist Party but said there’s not really any party, it just describes his middle-of-the-road philosophies.

Other candidates just seem to let ’er rip on party preferences. Candidates in congressional races list the National Union, the Work and Wealth and the Human Rights parties. Legislative candidates list Independent Dem, Framers and Republicanspirit parties. Then there’s a legislative candidate from Graham who listed his preference as the Marijuana Party, although maybe he really just wants to attend one.

Jim Camden
Jim Camden joined The Spokesman-Review in 1981 and retired in 2021. He is currently the political and state government correspondent covering Washington state.

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