Senate candidate branding herself as 'independent' Republican

When former Oregon legislator Eileen Qutub filed last month to run for state senator of Washington’s 49th District, she wanted to make sure the ballot listed her party preference as “Independent GOP” — but there was one small problem.

Just as Twitter limits a tweet’s characters to 146, Qutub was limited to 17 characters when naming her party preference. She also was informed that according to law, GOP needed to be written as G.O.P.

“Independent G.O.P.” is 18 characters long. After Qutub learned those three extra punctuation marks had pushed her past her character limit, she decided to simply state her party preference as “G.O.P.”

Qutub said her initial thinking was: “You know, since we have this much space, I want an adjective that describes the kind of GOP that I am. It was a little bit more descriptive.”

Branding herself as an independently minded Republican could have its advantages come election time, because Qutub is running in a district that tends to elect Democratic candidates.

But, there’s a chance it could also harm her relationship with the Clark County Republican Party, which recently sanctioned county commissioner Marc Boldt for straying too far from the party’s platform.

Qutub said she’s not concerned about how Clark County Republicans might interpret her independent streak, and she said the county is known for being politically independent.

“I’m not going to just follow the party’s lead,” she said, “particularly when it is not in the best interest of the district. … The parties are very polarized, and I think we need to bring people together.”

She said a peek at her past in Oregon might reveal a more staunchly Republican reputation, but she’s matured as a lawmaker during the past decade.

Stevie Mathieu: 360-735-4523 or or or

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