In the latest sign of the Oregon Republican Party schism, Rep. Julie Parrish (R- West Linn) was ousted as Deputy Leader of Oregon House Republicans in an unusual mid session House leadership shakeup.
Willamette Week reports that the Rep. Parrish was voted out by the Republican caucus because she recruited moderate Republican Barbara Jensen to seek the Republican nomination in House District 25. According to Willamette Week sources, that violated an unwritten rule to not waste resources on primaries.
However, that explanation makes little sense as there are currently 6 other contested Republican House primaries.
But, the one thing House District 25 has that these other contested Republican primaries don’t is local tea party icon Bill Post who is already seeking the Republican primary nomination in HD -25.
What Rep. Parrish is guilty of isn’t violating some unwritten Gentlewomen’s rule in Salem. She is guilty of trying to recruit viable candidates that can actually win in conservative – but not that conservative – Yamhill County. She is guilty of crossing the tea party caucus, and perhaps more gravely, crossing her own leadership whom it appears had a deal in place with their tea party base to hand the Republican HD -25 nomination to Mr. Post unimpeded. Even if that meant making the HD-25 seat a sacrificial lamb.
Rep. Parrish – who is socially moderate and an eclectic independent – appears to be the latest casualty in the Tea Party v. Modern Republican contest for control of the Oregon Republican Party. If so, it’s apparent the tea party members retain control – or at least veto power – within the Republican Party leadership.