How will council’s SPD cuts impact Washington’s statewide elections?

Aug 13, 2020, 5:39 AM
Seattle police, police tactics...
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

How will the Seattle City Council’s vote to cut the Seattle Police Department’s budget impact some of the statewide elections? Washington State GOP chairman Caleb Heimlich joined the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH to argue that it creates a stark contrast, and could ultimately help Republicans.

“First of all, it’s a huge loss for the city of Seattle. It just shows how far out to left field the Seattle City Council is as they’re cutting 100 police officer jobs, cutting their chief’s salary, and chasing off a good leader that was actually trying to navigate this incredibly difficult situation,” he said.

“But I think the message that it sends to voters of Washington state is if you don’t want this abject failure of one party rule that we see in Seattle to spread, then you need to vote Republican,” he added. “So I think it is a boost to our legislative efforts, to our statewide efforts, just really drawing that clear contrast between the left agenda that we see clearly in Seattle and what we want for our communities, what we want for our state … It helps us get people to vote Republican.”

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But as Jason suggested, this isn’t exactly the first time the Seattle City Council has done something that might ruffle more centrist voters the wrong way. What makes Heimlich think that this time the voters will start to change their tune?

“I think one piece of evidence I would point to is this primary …. The turnout in the primary was the highest we have had in a primary in over 60 years. We had over 52% of people were voting. And in those ballots, we are competitive in statewide races. We are on track to gain seats in the state house, to potentially gain a seat in the state senate, to flip the 8th Congressional District with Jesse Jensen,” he said.

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“We’re seeing positive results for Republicans that I think shows that this year, the craziness of Seattle is unavoidable,” Heimlich added. “It’s everywhere, you turn on your TV and there are police cars burning, there’s rioting, there’s looting. There’s protesters marching on freeways, and then you see in the news, ‘Oh, they just voted 7 to 1 to fire 100 police officers and reduce the number of law enforcement keeping the community safe.’”

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How will council’s SPD cuts impact Washington’s statewide elections?