I have seen letters to the editor and heard rumors that Roger Esparza, candidate for county commissioner, isn’t “really” a Republican and I would like to comment on this subject.

Roger was born and raised in our community by a hard-working single mother who didn’t believe in accepting welfare. There were times, by Roger’s own admission, his family didn’t have food on the table. He learned at an early age the value of hard work and responsibility.

Roger has stated publicly he is a fiscal conservative and social moderate like many other Republican candidates.

He has been criticized for having support from both sides of the aisle; however, I believe this attests to his broad appeal in our community that is heralded by the many activities, organizations and committee work in which Roger has participated.

Three former and current county commissioners who are life-long Republicans — two of which have known Roger for years — have thoroughly vetted his political positions and endorsed him.

In addition, the Executive Committee and Precinct Committee officers of the local Republican Party have vetted Roger and found his beliefs consistent with the party’s principles and values.

Roger is committed to bringing an open mind and his overall life experiences to the Board of County Commissioners. I would encourage you to vote for Roger.

Dean Derby

Walla Walla