She wanted to forge a new state in ‘bloodshed.’ Now she’s running for Congress

Spokane City Councilman Jonathan Bingle and radio host Rene’ Holaday each announced this week that they would compete in the August top-two primary to replace their fellow Republican, retiring Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, in Washington’s 5th District. But Holaday seems to wish she wasn’t running in Washington at all. She’s loudly voiced her support for turning the eastern part of the state into a separate theocracy—even if “bloodshed” is necessary.

Holaday was an aide in the state legislature when she appeared at a 2019 fundraiser to promote the creation of a new state called “Liberty,” which The Spokesman-Review reported at the time would be “a new Christian conservative state” that “would encompass all of Washington east of the Cascade Range.”

“Liberty” would indeed have been a conservative bastion: It would have supported Donald Trump by a 55-42 margin, leaving a much more populous rump Washington state that would have backed Joe Biden 62-35. In reality, Washington as a whole went for Biden 58-39, showing just how small this fantasy state would be.

But that fantasy took an even darker turn at the pro-secession event Holaday attended. There, she told the audience she was quoting unnamed GOP legislators who supposedly had said, “It’s either going to be bloodshed or Liberty State.”

Fortunately, despite repeated attempts by Republican lawmakers to introduce legislation establishing this new state, the movement has gone nowhere, and Holaday was fired soon after.

But that incident was, unsurprisingly, not the first time that Holaday had voiced far-right ideas: In 2012, she self-published a book spreading conspiracy theories about the United Nations. Her own efforts to turn extremism into victory at the ballot box, however, haven’t gone well. She lost bids in both 2010 and 2018 for the Stevens County Commission.

Bingle, for his part, unsuccessfully ran for mayor of Spokane in 2019 before winning a spot on the city council two years later. The former pastor, whom the Spokesman-Review calls a “Christian conservative ally of” McMorris Rodgers, launched his new effort by pledging to resist “environmental extremism.”

The GOP field already included former Trump administration official Brian Dansel and state Rep. Jacquelin Maycumber. On the Democratic side, former Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart tells the paper he’s decided not to seek this 54-44 Trump constituency.

Campaign Action SOURCE

Leave a Comment