It was pointed out to me by a political insider that the 2006 Washington State Republican Party Chair, Diane Tebelious, can be seen in a photo of Cheryl Haskins' campaign kick-off event last July. In addition, Rose Strong, a candidate for the same party office in 2005, was a speaker at the event. She's apparently a member of Cheryl Haskins' church, and can be seen in the photo at right, next to President Bush.
OK, so Cheryl Haskins has friends in high places within the state Republican Party who are supporting her candidacy. Not a surprise to me, but some voters in Renton might be uncomfortable with that fact, given that the city council election is non-partisan.
Having at least two important figures in the state Republican Party present at your kick-off event is anything but non-partisan, and seems somehow calculated. To illustrate my case, check out this statement Rose Strong made in a blog titled "Operation: Red Washington" in 2005:
What do you see as the main task(s) of the state party chair? Candidate recruitment – we should recruit those persons interested in running for office on every level of elective office, to include non-partisan positions. A Candidate Recruitment Chair should be appointed by each of the 39 counties to coordinate and vet each candidate.
Sounds to me like Cheryl Haskins was just the person they were looking for!