While Barack Obama seems to have a lock on the hearts and minds of Seattleites, local Republicans are having a more difficult time deciding who they want to fill the shoes of the current Commander in Chief.
Last Wednesday, Rudy Giuliani won a plurality of votes in an informal straw poll at the annual Republican fundraising dinner. (The dinner was closed to the media. Chair Luke Esser says he wanted to “keep this one in the family” for fear of having statements taken out of context, apparently speculation is better.)
Of the 663 people the party says were in attendance, 417 participated in the unscientific poll. Giuliani picked up 113, followed by Fred Thompson with 96 and Mitt Romney with 71.
But in the greater Seattle area, as well as statewide, the top fund-raiser has been Romney. He’s grown his war chest in the state by $242,420 locally and $473,445 statewide, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. That puts him second to Obama in Washington donations across parties.
“What it [the straw poll] does suggest I think is that’s a pretty wide open race in this state still,” Esser says.
Of course, the elephant in the state Republican party's living room is Dino Rossi. The dinner was actually themed "Run Dino Run" - a not so subtle hint at their desired challenger to Gov. Christine Gregoire. Esser says Rossi showed up but did not announce any plan to seek the top seat in Olympia.