Republicans Benton, Rivers ‘make amends’

It appears formerly feuding state Sens. Don Benton, R-Vancouver, and Ann Rivers, R-La Center, have put their differences aside, according to reports out of a Clark County Republican Party meeting Saturday.

The party shared photos that show the senators hugging during a meeting of the county’s Republican precinct committee officers and ran the headline “Senators Make Amends.” According to the statement on the CCRP’s website, Benton and Rivers “also reiterate that they are rock solid in their opposition of the Columbia River Crossing project.”

The feud between Benton and Rivers centered on two altercations between them this year in the state Senate. It’s a long story. What’s verifiable is that Benton filed a formal complaint against Rivers because she cursed at him on the Senate floor. The second incident took place in a closed door caucus meeting. You can read our coverage of the situation here and here.

Following the Republicans meeting on Saturday, Rivers emailed Benton to tell him she thinks the two made good progress.

“Your kind words and heartfelt apology were not lost on me,” Rivers wrote. “I, too, am sorry that it got to this point.  Like you, I am anxious for a fresh start when we convene tomorrow.  Putting all of this behind us is vital: For the caucus, the public’s confidence in us, and for our ability to achieve our goals.”

Benton had this to say in an email to The Columbian: “Senator Rivers has recognized her behavior was inappropriate and has publicly apologized for it. That is good enough for me. We have always been, and continue to be, friends and strong political allies.”

It was unknown whether Benton planned to drop his complaint against Rivers.

Here are few additional photos one tipster sent me that show the senators hugging:

Stevie Mathieu

Stevie Mathieu

Stevie Mathieu is a political writer at The Columbian. Contact her at 360-735-4523 or or or

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