A stunner to match that of the announced resignation of Washington Democratic leader Paul Berendt:
Now Chris Vance, leader of Washington's Republicans since 2001, says he will resign as of next month. He said he will move into a private-sector job.
Some provocative comments - on the minutiae and structure of party politics - were strewn in his resignation letter to the party:
I am most proud of two things we have achieved. The first is our renewed focus on grassroots politics. Through the use of cutting edge technology, and old fashioned hard work, we are giving our candidates the vital help they need in terms of voter identification and turnout. We are now matching and surpassing what our opponents are doing “on the ground.” In the last five days before the 2004 election we made over 500,000 volunteer voter contacts. We are already preparing the same type of effort for this year’s election.
The second is the progress we have made in the suburbs. The results of statewide elections in 2000 clearly showed that we were losing ground in the vital “suburban crescent.” We responded with the groundbreaking Crescent Conference through which we sharpened and refined our message among suburban voters. While we continued to experience some disappointing setbacks in suburban legislative races, our efforts have paid off. We comfortably elected Dave Reichert to Jennifer Dunn’s open suburban seat despite the Democrats’ spending well over $1 million. In addition, Sam Reed, Doug Sutherland, Rob McKenna and Dino Rossi all won pluralities in every single suburban Puget Sound legislative district. The suburbs are America’s political battleground and we have shown that we know how to compete and win.
Both parties, now, will be under the pressure of adapting to new leadership just as a relatively hot campaign season gets underway.