Luke Esser was the chairman of the Republican Party of Washington from 2007 to 2011. He was elected on January 27, 2007, when he defeated incumbent chairwoman Diane Tebelius, was re-elected in 2009, but lost to Kirby Wilbur in 2011.
Esser is a former senator in the Washington State Senate, representing the 48th Legislative District. He served as the minority floor leader for the Republican Party. He was defeated for re-election in 2006 by Democratic challenger and former Republican lawmaker Rodney Tom. In the 2004 Republican primary for the eighth Congressional district of Washington he finished third, behind Diane Tebelius and King County Sheriff Dave Reichert. Reichert went on to win the general election and has maintained that seat since then.
For much of the 1990s, Esser was a contributing writer to Fantasy Football Index, the nation's oldest and largest circulating fantasy football publication.
Esser called the Republican presidential caucus of Washington for John McCain, on February 9, 2008, after 87% of the vote had been counted, and 200 votes separated John McCain from Mike Huckabee. Huckabee had been leading early on as the votes were counted, but after McCain took the lead, Esser published a press release declaring McCain the apparent victor.
As the remaining votes were counted, McCain maintained his lead and won.
Ed Rollins, Huckabee's campaign chairman, directly challenged Esser’s move, saying the count was incomplete because the other 12.8 percent of precincts could tip the scales. “The chairman showed very bad judgment in stopping the voting last night when announcing John McCain had won, when there was less than a 200-vote margin between the two candidates,” Rollins told FOX News in an exclusive interview.
- "Wilbur unseats Esser as state GOP chairman". Seattle Times. 2011-01-21.
- "Huckabee contests WA results". Archived from the original on 2008-02-12.
- "Sen. McCain Wins Republican Precinct Caucuses in Washington State".
- Campaign website
- Washington State Republican Party website
- Washington State Republican Party leadership biographies[permanent dead link]
- College Op-Ed written by Luke Esser on Suppressing Vote for Republican Advantage, UW Daily, Nov. 3, 1986
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