About Mainstream – Providing a Moderate Republican Voice
Mainstream Republicans of Washington was founded over 30 years ago to provide a voice for moderate Republicans within the GOP. We share President Ronald Reagan’s inclusive view of the party — that both conservative and moderate Republicans should have a place in the Republican Party. Mainstream works to ensure that all Republicans in Washington are given a voice on the issues affecting the state, from jobs and fiscal responsibility to public education and social moderation.
“Responsible Republicans must articulate a vital moderate philosophy, they must participate more actively in Republican politics, they must achieve a long-term plan of moderate Republican action.” –Chris Bayley & Bruce Chapman
Mainstream, through its state and federal political action committees, has supported the election of Washington State Republican candidates through voter contact projects and more than $1 million in contributions since 2000. We focus our efforts on “swing voters in swing districts” where the greatest good can be achieved for candidates at the national and state levels. Mainstream endorses moderate Republican candidates pre-primary, as well as those in non-partisan races, including state Supreme Court candidates. We also guide voters by taking positions on Washington State ballot initiatives and referendums.
A number of key moderate Republicans have helped lead Mainstream’s efforts to include an inclusive voice within the state’s GOP through the years. These include Governor Dan Evans, Senator Slade Gorton, Secretary of State Sam Reed, Lt. Governor Joel Pritchard, Public Lands Commissioner Doug Sutherland and Secretary of State Ralph Munro.
Like these leaders, you can help us bring a greater level of inclusion to the Republican Party in Washington State. If you also believe in President Reagan’s view of a “big tent” for the GOP, we invite you to join Mainstream.
The History of Mainstream
After a major Republican loss in 1964, Republicans around Washington State began to think about the future of the Republican Party. It became apparent to political leaders like Governor Dan Evans, Secretary of State Sam Reed, and others that the future success of the party relied on centrism and moderation.
Several years later, the movement towards moderation began to gain support. In 1969, Sam Reed, Chris Bayley and others held a conference—now called the Cascade Conference—to “share ideas, establish rapport, and to simply get acquainted” with other young, moderate Republican leaders. The Cascade Conference continued to be held annually and, in 1990, the Mainstream Republicans of Washington became an official political action committee. The movement has since taken off. Throughout the years, the organization has continued to make it a priority to financially support, recruit, and endorse moderate Republican candidates. Today it is one of Washington’s most effective political action committees, contributing over $500,000 to candidates in 2012.
Past Cascade Conference Award Winners
This award was initiated at the 1995 Conference by Chairman Mark Gardner as recognition of Sam Reed’s many years of dedication and loyalty to Mainstream Republicans.
1995 Sam Reed
1997 Joel Pritchard
The Sammy Award was renamed the Pritchard Award in recognition of Joel Pritchard’s loyalty, contribution and inspiration to Mainstream Republicans.
1999 Ralph Munro
2000 Louise Miller
2002 Dan Evans
2003 Sid Morrison
2004 Phil Robins
2005 Doug Sutherland
2006 Joan Kraft
2007 Jim Waldo
2008 Ella Childers
2009 Peggy Pritchard Olson
2010 Slade Gorton
2011 Rob McKenna & Ken Mortland
2012 Sam Reed
2013 Gary Alexander
Maryann Mitchell Award
This award was initiated in 2003 by the Board of Directors in memory of Representative Maryann Mitchell to recognize outstanding service in local government.
2003 Representative Beverly Woods & Senator Jim Horn
2004 Senator Pat Hale
2005 Representative Shirley Hankins
2006 Senator Bill Finkbeiner
2007 Representative Gary Alexander
2008 Representative Skip Priest
2009 Senator Linda Evans-Parlette
2010 Senator Dale Brandland
2011 Representative Maureen Walsh
2012 Bill Hinkle
Norm Maleng Award
This award was initiated in 2008 following the death of long-time King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng, who was a Mainstream Board member and loyal supporter in the legislature.
2008 Pierce County Councilman Shawn Bunney
2009 Thurston County Auditor Kim Wyman
2010 Bill Bryan, Seattle Port Commissioner President
2011 King County Council Member Reagan Dunn
2012 Anthony Hemstad & Ed Sterner
2013 Dennis Weber
Dan Evans Award
This award was initiated in 2011 and is awarded to leaders in environmental stewardship.
2011 William Ruckelshaus
2012 Chris Bayley
2013 Mike Vaska