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State GOP Takes Pflug to Task for Last-Minute Withdrawal

The Olympia Report reports that Pflug made her announcement to vacate without first notifying party officials, squelching additional potential candidates for the 5th District state Senate seat.

Republicans in Washington's 5th District, including 5th District GOP Chair Bob Brunjes, denounced that she would not seek re-election to the 5th District Senate seat, but would instead accept an appointment by Gov. Chris Gregoire to the state's Growth Management Hearings Board.

Pflug made the announcement on Monday, May 21, after the May 18 filing deadline and on the last day candidates could withdraw their filings for the state primary election. Some local Republican officials didn't hear the news until Tuesday.

Brunjes told The Olympia Report, a news website hosted by The Freedom Foundation, on Tuesday: “She didn’t tell anyone in our office or anyone at the state level. Nor did she tell anyone in elected office, including (5th District Rep.) Jay Rodne, and that’s the real travesty here.”

Brunjes told The Olympia Report that Rodne has long had an interest in running for the Senate and would have jumped at the chance if he’d known Pflug was vacating her seat.

“A lot of people in Olympia have been encouraging him to run against her,” Brunjes said. “But he wouldn’t do it. He said that was Cheryl’s seat and he wouldn’t run until she decided to give it up. That’s what he gets for being an honorable person.”

Brunjes said the move appears to be a "backroom deal" with the Governor's fingerprints all over it.

“This is so transparent,” he said in the interview with The Olympia Report. “It’s not a question of what I think, it’s what I know happened. And this is nothing short of a sleazy, backroom deal to take away a Senate seat the Democrats otherwise could never have won.”

Read The Olympia Report's full story here.

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