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Sinclair gets little GOP support, candidate claims

Former candidate for U.S. Congress Larry Klepinger said the Republican party is not putting enough of its support behind Island County Treasurer Suzanne Sinclair’s bid for Rick Larsen’s seat.

Since Sinclair officially sealed the victory in the Sept. 14 primary, Klepinger has received numerous requests for interviews and information.

“I have been deluged with personal congratulations, requests to speak at political forums, opinion forms to fill out — not to mention a TV news station requesting me to appear on their show,” Klepinger said in a written statement. “I have been telling everybody that Suzanne is the candidate. People seem surprised at not knowing the true situation, so I thought it best to state for the record — in Susan Sinclair’s behalf — that she is the GOP backed winner of the primary — not me.”

Early primary returns showed Kleinger leading the race, but Sinclair pulled ahead as more absentee ballots were counted after election day.

Sinclair said the national GOP has been focusing its attention on the more prominent races in the fifth and eighth districts in Washington State.

“They’ve focused on their incumbents and they’ve focused on their open seats,” she said. “I am further down on the proverbial food chain.”

She said she is viewing the silent support from the Republican party as a positive.

“One of the advantages I have is that if I am elected, I would be responsible only to the voters,” she said.

Sinclair trailed Klepinger for much of the counting process, but pulled ahead before the results were certified. Sinclair garnered 21,519 votes, compared to Klepinger’s 19,568.

Klepinger said he was surprised to see less outward support from the GOP.

“You would think that after all their hard work in backing Suzanne that they would have issued a statement to clear up the matter,” he said in the statement. “I feel sorry for Suzanne not getting more help from the GOP. With the present GOP leadership, it is no wonder why Republicans continue to loose elections in Washington state.”

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