Democratic candidate Tim Probst wrote an “open letter” (cc’ing the editors of The Columbian and Reflector, among others) to his competition Rep. Lynda Wilson, R-Vancouver.

The two are vying for Sen. Don Benton’s seat.

Probst asked Wilson if she would be open to running a clean campaign.

“Traditional campaigns are always about dividing people. You find wedge issues, you drive the wedges deeper, and you divide the people of our community against themselves. I think the “usual way” is terrible,” Probst wrote.

So he’s suggesting something different.

“Let’s sit down together in a series of meetings to define what we agree on, and what we will work on together, regardless of who wins. The paid campaign consultants will hate this idea—and that only makes it more fun! Let’s throw out the rule book. You might win, I might win, but if we first agree on a few things we both want to achieve, there’s a good chance we can make it happen, regardless of who wins,” Probst wrote.

Sure, Wilson wrote back, she’s ready to run “a vigorous and clean campaign.”

After all, Probst’s “last campaign for Senate was quite ugly,” she wrote.

Probst lost to Benton in 2012.

The promise to run a clean campaign is a en vogue endeavor in campaigns in recent years.

And hey, it definitely seems to resonate with voters more than calling for a mud-slinging campaign.

Wilson didn’t commit to participating in the series of meetings.

But she said she shares his “ desire to run a civil, issues oriented, non-divisive campaign.”

“It will be up to the voters of the 17th (Legislative District) to evaluate each of us and the tenor of our campaigns,” Wilson wrote. “I’m sure you will make your best case to voters and so will I.”

Lauren Dake

Lauren Dake

Lauren Dake covers politics for The Columbian. You can reach her at 360-735-4534 or Follow her on Twitter .

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