Former Whatcom Republican chair takes over state party


A prominent figure in the Whatcom County Republican Party was named interim chairwoman of the state party organization on Monday, July 29.

State Vice Chairwoman and Lynden-area resident Luanne Van Werven takes over the state party's top post immediately. Former Chairman Kirby Wilbur stepped down Monday to take a job with the Young America's Foundation, a conservative youth organization in the Washington, D.C., area.

The party will elect a new state chair within 90 days, Van Werven said, and she hasn't ruled out running for the position. In the next three months, Van Werven will lead the state party's effort to get Rep. Jan Angel, R-Port Orchard, elected to the state Senate in a special election this November.

She also will oversee the party's support of Republican interests in local races, including for Whatcom County Council.

Van Werven was chairwoman of the county Republican Party from 2009 to 2012.

Reach Ralph Schwartz at 360-715-2289 or Read his Politics blog at or follow him on Twitter at @bhamheraldpolitics.

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