Embattled Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley, may be out as master of ceremonies for the Clark County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day event.
Sometime Monday, at least two references to Shea were removed from the local GOP’s website, clarkrepublicans.org.
Shea had been featured prominently on the website’s home page, as well as in a more detailed write-up about the April 25 Lincoln Day Gala and Auction, at ilani on the Cowlitz Indian Reservation. A reference to him serving as emcee can still be found under the website’s “news” section.
Phone messages left for Earl Bowerman, Clark County Republican chair, were not returned Monday afternoon. Republican Vice Chair Eileen Quiring, chair of the Clark County Council, also could not be reached.
A House-commissioned investigative report, prepared by the Rampart Group of Seattle, concluded that Shea participated in and planned domestic terrorism incidents, including the 40-day takeover and standoff at Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in 2016.
Bowerman, who said he decided to invite Shea to preside at the annual event, emphasized last week that Shea has not been charged with any criminal activity. Bowerman also criticized the 108-page report as “one-sided” and “biased.”
Shea, a six-term representative, opted not to talk to the Rampart Group’s investigators. Since the report’s release, he has denounced the document as “a lie” and a “Marxist smear campaign.”
Following the report’s release, House Republican leaders suspended Shea from their caucus, stripped him of committee assignments, took his name and photo off their website, houserepublicans.wa.gov, and moved his seat to the back row of the House floor.
House Speaker Laurie Jinkins, D-Tacoma, and House Minority Leader J.T. Wilcox, R-Yelm, have called on Shea to resign.
Last week, two House Democrats tried to garner support to expel Shea from the House, something that has happened only once in Washington’s history. All House Democrats signed a letter calling for his expulsion, but they could not muster any backing from House Republicans.
Shea has refused to resign and said he will run for re-election this year. He already has a Republican and Democratic challenger.