Allsup certified for position in Whitman County Republican Party

Party officials may look to prevent Allsup from taking seat, leadership denounces his views


LUKE HOLLISTER | Daily Evergreen file

Former WSU College Republicans president James Allsup received certification as a Whitman County GOP Precinct Committee Officer, but may end up not taking his seat if officials find a way to prevent him from doing so in their bylaws.

IAN SMAY, Evergreen reporter

Former WSU College Republicans President James Allsup was certified as a Precinct Committee Officer on Saturday by the Whitman County Auditor’s Office.

The position usually entails passing out campaign materials, supporting candidates and sometimes voting on party leadership depending on the district.

The news drew negative responses from some in the party, including Whitman County GOP state committeeman and County Commissioner Art Swannick.

“I in no way support fascism, neo-Nazism and any of the activities he’s been involved with,” Swannick said.

Allsup, who could not be reached for comment, has previously denied being a white nationalist and said he fully condemns racist groups such as the KKK and Nazism in interviews with Q13 Fox News.

Swannick said while Allsup was technically elected, he ran unopposed and may not be seated as party leadership could look to bylaws to explore legal ways to prevent Allsup from taking the position.

A spokesperson for the state’s Republican Party said via email that an uncontested race is decided for the sole candidate after four days and no voting took place. The email also pointed out anyone can run for positions in either party due to Washington being a state where voters cannot register with a political party.

Washington State Republican Party Chairman Caleb Heimlich released a statement in response to the announcement of Allsup being named the PCO for the county’s 129th district.

“The Washington State Republican Party condemns identity politics and any form of racism in the strongest possible manner.  It is antithetical to our core values and stands counter to our goal of getting Washington back on the right track. We condemned this hateful ideology before, we condemn it today and will continue to condemn it in the future,” reads the statement in full.

The Spokane County GOP also released a statement Tuesday evening distancing themselves from Allsup.

“Mr. Allsup has never been affiliated in any official capacity with the Spokane County GOP. His past statements, affiliations and actions are deeply out-of-step with the values of the Republican Party, as well as the values of the Spokane County GOP and our members,” reads part of the statement.

The release went on to condemn “white supremacy, racism and bigotry in all forms.” The message ended with a vow of support to Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-WA, who also released her own statement via a verified Facebook account.

“I was disappointed today when I heard the news that James Allsup is being allowed to represent the Whitman County GOP. I don’t have a relationship with him, but I know what he stands for. His actions and words do not reflect the values of the Republican Party or Eastern Washington,” the beginning of her post read, before Rodgers disavowed the same ideas listed in the Spokane County GOP release.

Allsup garnered controversy after his attendance at the “Unite the Right” rally on Aug. 12 in Charlottesville, Virginia, which received heavy criticism for the prevalence of neo-Nazism and white nationalism among groups of protesters. A counter protester at the rally lost her life after being struck by a vehicle that drove into the crowd.

Allsup resigned shortly after the rally and many state legislators called for WSU to revoke the College Republicans’ Registered Student Organization status. Some also called for the university to expel him. WSU carried out neither action.

The controversial figure also made headlines when the club erected a mock border wall on the Glenn-Terrell Friendship Mall in 2016.

Washington’s primary elections, when PCO races would be voted on, take place on Aug. 7.