State Republican Party Chairman to step down

Susan Hutchison

Susan Hutchison is stepping down as chairman of the Washington State Republican Party.

The party announced her last day in the role, one she's held since 2012, will be on February 4.

“The WSRP is in a robust financial position with a bright future,” Hutchinson said. “I expect that 2018 will result in many exciting wins for the GOP in our state — among them, Dino Rossi will hold the 8th Congressional seat, the Republicans will move into leadership in the State House of Representatives by flipping at least one seat, and there might even be some surprises in the State Senate, “Susan said.

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In a statement, Republicans praised Hutchinson for her skills as a fundraiser, increasing both small and large donations.

“Unlike the Democrats, we don’t have the public employee unions writing us big checks to keep the lights on, so we depend on the investments of more than 7,000 loyal Republicans throughout the state,” she said in a statement.

During Hutchinson's years as party chairman, Republicans flipped nine seats while the Democrats flipped three in the State Legislature, her staff said.

Hutchinson served twice as long as the average tenure of her seven predecessors. Before he political role, Hutchinson worked at KIRO 7 as an anchor from 1981 until 2002.

In July 2016, Hutchinson made headlines for directly criticizing Ted Cruz for not endorsing Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention.

"I said that I thought what he did was inexcusable and that he was a traitor to the party," Hutchison told KUOW at the time.

Later that year after she supported Donald Trump following reporters of what Trump called his “locker-room banter,” some Republicans called for Hutchinson to step down.

“As a Republican leader in this state, I regularly face a hostile media and partisan attacks -- all in a day’s work,” she said at the time.

Hutchinson faced some of those attacks in 2017 from the “tax the rich” movement after the Seattle City Council unanimously approved an income tax on the wealthy – one that has so far failed in ongoing court challenges. Supporters of the income tax, who also supported Socialist City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant, shouted over Hutchinson and tried to interrupt her during her talk with reporters.

"We are encouraging all to exercise civil disobedience to not comply to not file and to not pay," Hutchinson said at the time about the income tax.

Election for a new Washington State Republican Party Chairman will be held at the winter State Committee meeting on January 20, 2018 in Moses Lake. After a two-week transition, the new Chairman is expected to start February 5, 2018.

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