The final count on home rule

The Clark County Republican Party won’t be sailing against the wind of creating a charter county.

In a statement on its shiny new website, the local Republican chapter says it wants folks to consider taking part in the change coming to local government.

That’s a new tact for the Republican ship.

Just last week the party’s chair spoke of using caution on moving forward with such a charter. She made the tepid statements against home rule despite a call for such a charter being included in the party’s platform, adopted in 2012.

She also spoke her piece after four elected Republican officials from the county and state level spoke in favor of it.

The chair of the Republican party even agreed with a Democrat during her statements.

It was kind of a weird meeting.

So, for those keeping count:

  • The Republican party was for home rule, then was maybe kinda-sorta against home rule but now is looking to be involved in home rule as it moves forward.
  • The following Republican elected officials appear to have always been for home rule: Clark County Commissioner Tom Mielke (who was the architect of this effort), state Sen. Ann Rivers, R-La Center, county Auditor Greg Kimsey, county Assessor Peter Van Nortwick and county Clerk Scott Weber.
  • Clark County Commissioner David Madore, a Republican, seemed to be worried about home rule, but then voted in favor of it.
  • Clark County Commissioner Steve Stuart, a Democrat, never really said what he thought, but in 2011 he declined to second a motion for a home rule process because no one seemed to care. Now that people care, he supports it.
  • Clark County Treasurer Doug Lasher, a Democrat, has a lot of questions about why home rule is important and is worried about the cost.
  • The chair of the Republican party seemed to think Lasher, a Democrat, had a good point.

Like I said, it was kind of a weird meeting.

Erik Hidle

Erik Hidle

Erik Hidle covers Clark County government for The Columbian. He can be followed on facebook at, on Twitter at @col_clarkgov or contacted by email at

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