Washington politicians can have their party affiliation listed on the ballot as just about anything.
So among candidates who filed today to run, we’ve already got a “Prefers Neither Party” (that would be Jon T. Haugen, running for the state House seat left vacant by Jaime Herrera’s decision to run for Congress) and a “Prefers Lower Taxes Party” (a group with exactly one member, Tim Sutinen, challenging Rep. Brian Blake).
Lots of candidates will be listed as “Prefers Democratic Party,” but at least two, Sen. Paul Shinn and Louise Chadez, prefer the “Democrat Party,” which strictly speaking, doesn’t exist any more than the Lower Taxes Party. You usually only hear “Democrat Party” from Republicans using it as a pejorative term.
And when speaking of parties that don’t exist, there’s always the “GOP Party,” which would be the Grand Old Party Party. It makes about as much sense as a “PIN number,” but it was a popular label in 2004 2008, when the Republican brand was suffering. Dino Rossi even used it.
My guess is he won’t this year, as polls show Republicans eroding Democrats’ advantage in party identification. So far in the filing, most Republicans are just Republicans. I only see one GOP member, Sen. Jerome Delvin.
The folks down at the secretary of state’s office – who are urging candidates to please, please use real party names – say anyone who wants to be identified on the ballot with the GOP should remember to put periods between the initials (G.O.P.). Otherwise they’ll be on the ballot as “Prefers Gop Party.”