Benton County Republicans who dream of a majority in Olympia would be wise to abandon Brad Klippert. Whether they will admit it or not, Killpert's rigid ideological stances and empty platitudes have made him a poster child for mocking the GOP throughout the state.
Having a few representatives like Klippert in the Legislature damages the GOP brand tremendously, making it impossible to win close races in the rural areas surrounding Vancouver, Olympia and Bellingham. As a result, the Democrats continue to hold onto the majority with relative ease.
Republicans who are concerned about policy should realize that voting for Jay Clough isn't likely to change things very much, since the Democrats already control the Legislature. But it would give Richland and Tri-Cities much more of a voice, since Jay would instantly become the only legislator from the Mid-Columbia in the majority caucus. It would also give Republicans a chance in 2014 to put someone in the seat who, fairly or not, isn't widely viewed as the village idiot.
DOUGLAS MCKINLEY, Richland