The Washington state chairman of Ronald Reagan's presidential campaign resigned today and closed the Reagan state wide office, taking the furniture with him.
Warren McPherson, a 39-year-old Seattle businessman who was considered one of Reagan's best state organizers in the 1976 campaign, walked out after a verbal assault on the Reagan national organization.
"They're dividing the spoils, all the political hacks are coming on board, they're squeezing out the dedicated, ideological workers," McPherson said.
His chief complaint was that various new members of the Reagan organization are more concerned with gaining patronage appointments for their efforts than with organizing the Reagan campaign.
Resigning with McPherson were two full-time aides and a part-time administrative assistant. McPherson, who borrowed furniture to open the office, moved it out with him when he left.
Another blow to the Reagan organization here came today when Darlene Bothell, a top organizer for Reagan in 1976, went to work as executive director of the George Bush campaign.
McPherson and Bothell were shining lights of the Reagan comeback campaign in 1976 when they organized a state considered favorable to Gerald Ford against the opposition of then governor Dan Evans, a staunch Ford supporter. Reagan won 31 of the 38 delegates from Washington state at the 1976 GOP convention.
This time, Reagan is favored in Washington, which begins its delegate-selection process with precinct caucuses March 11.
Andy Carter, national director of organization for the Reagan campaign, said in Los Angeles that McPherson's resignation reflected "an internal problem within Washington state" ratherthan any policy of the national Reagan organization.
"I hated to see him resign," Carter added."Warren did a good job in '76 but he had a fine organization around hi m and I have confidence that the organization will keep on rolling."
Spokane accountant Dale Duvall was named to replace McPherson.