MOSES LAKE — The executive board for the Grant County Republican Party (GCRP) is standing behind embattled lawmaker Rep. Matt Manweller, R-Cle Elum, and is urging GOP voters in Grant County to cast their vote for Manweller to ensure the appointment of a conservative to the seat if he wins and resigns, which he has stated he will do.
Republican leaders in Washington called for the lawmaker to resign earlier this week in the wake of a recent Northwest News Network report in which a former student of Manweller’s during his time as a high school teacher in Idaho alleged she had a sexual relationship with him when she was 17. The new allegation came to light after Central Washington University fired Manweller from his tenured position at the college after an investigation uncovered evidence of misconduct, according to a previous Columbia Basin Herald report.
“The GCRP holds fast to the fact that we are all presumed innocent until proven guilty. The allegations leveled against Representative Manweller appear to be designed to distract us from the real issues facing the voters during this critical election,” states the GCRP.
Earlier this week Manweller stated he will continue with his term until it is finished and will not resign. He did say, however, that if he is re-elected in the November general election he will not serve another term, which would open the door for the seat to be filled by another Republican, as dictated by state law. The GCRP executive board, comprised of RaeAnne Journey, Barbara Morgan, Brent Bishop, Linda Bishop, Danny Stone, Kenneth Jorgenson and Bob Lyons, stated that the “moral outrage” by some at the Manweller situation “seems extremely hypocritical.”
In a press release they state that for the past 50 years progressives have pushed for the deconstruction of moral values and that sexual freedom has been decorated, while sexual purity and morality have been chastised and “the chivalry of a gentleman is seen as sexual harassment.”
“They have even claimed that young people can’t be expected to control their sexual appetites. Then, when young people make decisions in accordance with the ‘new ethic’ promoted in curriculum, media and other cultural influences, these same folks who support these things, find it appropriate to judge individuals concerning such decisions (over two decades later as in this case). Maybe it is time for our liberal friends to acknowledge that there are universal standards of right and wrong and our culture would be much healthier if we could stand together on such things.”
Richard Byrd can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.