AP NEWS

Washington PAC supporting independents calls it quits

May 29, 2019

SEATTLE (AP) — A new political-action committee dedicated to supporting centrist, independent candidates for office in Washington state says it is suspending operations.

The two heads of Washington Independents, former state Republican Party Chair Chris Vance and former Democratic Rep. Brian Baird, said in a statement Tuesday that voters “no matter how unsatisfied they are, are not ready to embrace an alternative to our two-party system.”

Vance and Baird said they decided to call it quits after the national group they partnered with, Unite America, chose to focus on electoral reforms rather than supporting independent candidates.

The Seattle Times reports that Washington Independents threw its support behind three independent legislative candidates in the state. All lost. Two of the three gathered less than 10% of the vote in the primary. The group spent more than $100,000 supporting the failed candidacies

“It didn’t work, we were wrong,” Vance said. “I spent a lot of 2018 talking to donors and potential candidates. I can’t do that now, because I can’t look them in the eye and tell them it will work.”

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