It could have been a very interesting evening: Republican Dino Rossi, Tea Party darling Clint Didier, and a bunch of other characters, all facing off at a public forum in Silverdale sponsored by the Republican Women of Kitsap County.

Instead, it's just the other characters—and only two of them.

Rossi's not going, according to his spokesperson, Mary Lane Strow. (Brenda Petrick, Peninsula Director for the Republican Women, said she was told Rossi "had a previous engagement.") Didier's not going, either. "Because Clint is knee deep in wet alfalfa," Petrick explained. (Didier is, however, sending his campaign manager.)

So which candidates are actually going to be there? Just Bellingham businessman Paul Akers and energy trader Craig Williams.

With more than two months to go before the Aug. 17 primary, there should be many more opportunities to get the whole gang of Republican Senate hopefuls together. The question is whether all of them will ever see it as in their collective best interests to share a stage—or whether we'll be hearing a lot more about previous engagements and the need to harvest some alfalfa.