GOP leader aims for control of state Senate in 2014

Washington State Republican Party Chairwoman Susan Hutchison today said she hopes to rack up enough GOP victories in 2014 so the party can control the state Senate without relying on help from moderate Democrats.

“I don’t think we want to depend on a coalition to get things done,” she said in a visit with reporters in Olympia.

Today the Senate is run by a coalition of 23 Republicans and two Democrats – Sens. Rodney Tom of Medina and Tim Sheldon of Potlatch.

While Hutchison lauded Tom and Sheldon for their willingness to cross party lines, she said one of her goals is to get Republicans in a majority of the chamber’s 49 seats by the end of the 2014 election cycle.

She said she also wants to gain a few seats in the state House though she admitted getting a majority in that chamber will take longer.

Republicans will make a run at Washington’s three freshmen Democrats in the House of Representatives too, she said. She specifically targeted Rep. Suzan DelBene who serves in the 1st Congressional District which stretches from east King County to the Canadian border. It includes several towns in Snohomish County.

“We think the DelBene seat should be Republican,” she said.

Hutchison was elected in August to succeed Kirby Wilbur who resigned to take a job in Washington, D.C.

She said she’s been focused on honing the party’s message, raising money, improving the party mechanics for getting out the vote and managing the day-to-day operations of the party.

Money is critically important and it’s been difficult to come by partly because Republicans have not done well of late in marquee races.

“When you win, people give,” she said. “I actually enjoy raising money. I am looking forward to building up our coffers.”

She’s also working to better the party’s relationship with the national Republican Party which provided minimal financial support in 2012.

“We want the RNC to believe in us,” she said.

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