Write-in Republican candidate surfaces to run against Vick

Republican legislative candidate Brandon Vick might not have it as easy as he expected this election season.

Although the only other candidate to file in the race for Position 1 representative in the 18th Legislative District, Adrian Cortes, dropped out last month, a write-in candidate has emerged to run against Vick.

Republican Peter Silliman, 43, of La Center, said he is running as a write-in candidate to give voters a more conservative option. He also said competition is healthy for the election process.

“There are some serious disadvantages to going unopposed,” Silliman said on Friday. Running a competitive race allows candidates to get a better sense of what their constituents want, and makes whichever candidate is chosen a more confident legislator, he added.

Even when Vick believed he was running unopposed, he said last month that he still planned to run a strong campaign in order to increase his name recognition. Because Cortes dropped out after the deadline to officially withdraw, Cortes’ name will still appear on the ballot next to Vick.

Silliman said he will campaign at a grassroots level and mail out fliers as part of his strategy to get voters to write his name down on the ballot rather than vote for Vick.

Silliman said he wasn’t planning to run for office for a couple of years, but several people approached him to encourage him to run once it was discovered that Vick would be unopposed. Silliman considers himself a “conservative Republican,” and his personal Facebook page includes several statements of support for libertarian Texas Congressman Ron Paul.

Silliman, a telephone company engineer and a father of 12, said he attended the Washington State Republican Convention as a Paul delegate, but he now doubts Paul will win the GOP presidential nomination.

Stevie Mathieu: 360-735-4523 or stevie.mathieu@columbian.com or www.facebook.com/reportermathieu or www.twitter.com/col_politics

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