County GOP resolution rejects election of Biden

Republican leaders on Whidbey Island have mixed feelings on the resolution.

Republican leaders on Whidbey Island have mixed feelings about a resolution adopted earlier this month by the Island County Republican Party that rejects the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Tim Hazelo, the chairman of the county’s Republican Party, said the precinct committee officers present at a recent meeting overwhelmingly adopted the resolution written by Beth Munson of Camano Island.

“Now, therefore be it resolved, the Island County Republican Party of Washington State formally rejects the certified results of the 2020 Presidential election, and we hold that acting President Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr., was not legitimately elected by the people of the United States,” the resolution states.

Hazelo said he did not vote on the measure since he is the chairman and only votes to break ties.

“As chairman, once the party holds a vote I am obligated to support it,” he wrote in an email.

Hazelo is running for District 3 Island County commissioner against fellow Republican Rick Hannold and Commissioner Janet St. Clair, a Democrat.

Hannold, a former Republican commissioner, said he felt the resolution was an exercise in futility and divisiveness.

“Get over it, people,” he said. “You can scream and yell and stomp your feet, but the results came in and that’s what happened.”

Republican state Sen. Ron Muzzall of Oak Harbor said he heard from some very upset members of the party after the resolution was adopted.

“I think there are always some question about every election, but I was pretty satisfied with the 2020 election,” he said. “I got elected.”

Muzzall added that while it’s important to ensure that all elections are fair and well run, it’s time for the party and the nation to look forward, not back.

“Both parties are run by very passionate people,” he said. “Passionate people don’t always make rational, pragmatic decisions.”

Island County Commissioner Jill Johnson, the only Republican on the board, didn’t mince words in her objection to the resolution.

“There is no basis for this claim and to undermine public trust in our election process out of loyalty to a single man is not only anti-democracy, it’s anti-Republican,” she said. “How can you disavow an election that put people you support in office, but then say it’s rigged when one of your candidates loses? Especially when your winners and losers are all on the same ballot?”

Johnson added that the Republican Party lost its way when it traded its vision and values for “blind loyalty” to one man.

“This resolution is baseless and dangerous and I’m not afraid to say so,” she said. “In fact, I would ask that all elected Republicans stand with me and do the same. You can’t fully live up to your oath of office and be a part of perpetuating this myth. There is no gray area on this.”

Joseph Busig, chair of the Island County Democratic Party, said it was a shame that the local and state party were engaging in “mass delusion.”

“The right to vote is something not every American has had since the nation’s foundation,” he wrote in an email. “There is much work to be done in terms of voting rights and creating a truly democratic electoral system. We cannot afford to let delusion, fear mongering, and anti-democratic efforts attempt to take the will of the people away. Especially not at the hands of one candidate, party or organization who simply cannot accept verified and true results.”