It’s official (almost): Senator Phil Fortunato to run for governor

Aug 5, 2019, 5:49 PM

Phil Fortunato, guns, schools, teachers, sanctuary...

Sen. Phil Fortunato (AP)


It’s time for a common sense Governor in Washington. So says Republican State Senator Phil Fortunato (R-Auburn) who just announced that he’s running for governor — though the official announcement is going to be on Wednesday at Seattle City Hall. The senator joined the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH to discuss homelessness, the budget, and what prompted him to make it official and enter the race.

“This year is different, and when I say this year I mean this election cycle 2020. This is different only because of the Seattle’s dying situation,” he said. “People in Seattle — which is the key to winning a state-run race — are basically fed up. They’re fed up with needles in the park. They’re fed up with criminal homeless on the street. All of these things are the result of Democratic leadership.”

Fortunato made headlines this past year when he proposed a law that would require any legislator crafting a gun-related bill to go through mandatory firearm training. A month later, he called for arming teachers in Washington’s schools.

GOP Chairman Caleb Heimlich expects more gubernatorial candidates to emerge soon

Most recently, he garnered attention for a letter he issued to current governor Jay Inslee, asking that Inslee reimburse taxpayers for security costs incurred by his 2020 presidential campaign.

“The other issue that I want to talk about is the unsustainable budgets that the Democrats are putting forth. This fifty-four point whatever billion dollars is ridiculous. I mean it should have been somewhere in the vicinity of $48 billion or something like that. If you were to factor in inflation and growth they spent $6 billion dollars more money,” he said.

“They are basically setting us up for an unsustainable budget crisis because next year they’re going to want to spend $58 billion dollars. And when that money stops guess what’s going to happen? The only way to fill that gap for all the things that we promised is an income tax.”

The potential Republican candidates for Washington state governor are still few at the moment. Republic Police Chief Loren Culp recently announced his run, and Representative Drew Stokesbary has expressed interest as well.

Rep. Stokesbary: ‘We could’ve funded all priorities without raising taxes’

“First of all, we know that the rank or the mainstream Republicans are not excited about me running. Second, it’s an off-year election for me. If I lose I’m still a senator. Now Drew’s a great guy but basically I got 2,500 more votes or 3,000 more votes than him in our own district.”

“If people want somebody with common sense to roll this stuff back I need to get their support. If you live in downtown Seattle I’m trying to get a thousand people in downtown Seattle to send me at least $25, and I am such a magnanimous guy that if they mailed me a check for $2,000, I would not send it back,” he joked. “That’s what a great guy I am.”

To learn more about Senator Phil Fortunato’s campaign, head to philforgov.org.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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It’s official (almost): Senator Phil Fortunato to run for governor