Republican, Democrat launch centrist group in state

By SALLY HO, Associated Press
Published: November 16, 2017, 8:45 PM

SEATTLE — The politically traumatized or in denial voter is being courted by a new movement that will support independent, centrist-minded candidates for elected office in Washington state.

That includes Republicans who have denounced President Donald Trump and his brand of conservatism, as well as Democrats tired of obeying their embattled leadership.

A former Democratic congressman and a former head of the state GOP have launched the Washington Independents as a “safe place” for non-confirming politicians.

The group said Thursday that it has about 600 people who have indicated interest in its work. It plans to start out slow and will focus on a handful of Washington state legislative seats for the next election.

Stuart Elway, an independent pollster and political scientist, said the group will face steep structural barriers but will be one to watch, as both political parties forge ahead in their own respective civil wars.

“If there was ever an opportunity in terms of time and place for something like this to work, this is the time and this is the place,” Elway said.

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