Battle lines drawn among Republicans in state House over heated exchange between lawmaker, security

Apr 20, 2022, 6:12 AM | Updated: Apr 21, 2022, 11:03 am

Rep. Robert Sutherland. (Getty Images)...

Rep. Robert Sutherland. (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Republican state Rep. Robert Sutherland believes he has more support than ever following a verbal confrontation with a top House security official at the Capitol in March.

Heated exchange over COVID rules between state lawmaker, security leads to conduct probe

Sutherland and the sergeant-at-arms argued as the latter denied Sutherland entrance into the building. The disagreement revolved around whether Sutherland could enter the Columbia room of the Capitol building without a COVID-19 test. Sutherland disputes the claims that he failed to comply to take a test. Expletives were shouted when their argument reached its boiling point.

“My voters love me in this district. I’ve got the exclusive endorsement in this area,” Sutherland told Jason Rantz on KTTH. “So, I don’t anticipate this being a problem. If the press wants to continue to twist the story, then people will see through that and they’re flocking to me — I’m getting more support than I’ve had ever.”

Republican Representatives Paul Harris and Cyndy Jacobsen each donated $100 to Republican Sam Low’s campaign after the incident, who is running against Sutherland in the August primary. The fallout of the incident also led to a formal reprimanding from the state House. He has since been ordered to take “conflict coaching.”

Sutherland stated he was not surprised by Harris and Jacobsen’s decision.

“There’s many kinds of Republicans,” he said. “There’s Republicans who support Republicans and other Republicans who support Democrats. In this case, my peers have decided to support a Republican who endorses Democrats over Republicans, and has supported Democrats in the past. By supporting [Low], they’re supporting Democrats and who am I to tell people who they should or should not support?”

Sutherland continued by blaming the press for twisting the altercation against him.

“If you read the Seattle Times, which said I went down there, and I refused to be tested. That’s just a blatant lie,” he said. “I’m talking to an attorney tomorrow, and we’re gonna discuss defamation from some of these large newspapers.”

Washington House, Senate start session mostly remote

He also believes the media’s manipulation of the story led to Rep. Harris and Jacobsen siding against him.

“I don’t know that they’ve ever heard my version of the story,” he continued. “If they did, they would side with me.”

Sutherland further asserts what the sergeant-at-arms said to him was equivalent of assault.

“He was yelling that I needed to get off the campus. That I wasn’t allowed to be there. I was allowed to be there,” he said. “When I refused to leave, he amped it up. He ramped it up and was getting mad at me. He was cussing. He was telling me I needed to leave. And he actually assaulted me. He made a move to come at me physically. And I stood my ground and I wouldn’t leave.”

Sutherland did apologize for his use of expletives and claims there is no animosity between him and Harris and Jacobsen despite their decision.

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.

Jason Rantz on AM 770 KTTH
  • listen to jason rantzTune in to AM 770 KTTH weekdays at 3-7pm toThe Jason Rantz Show.

Jason Rantz Show

Jason Rantz

Seattle police...

Jason Rantz

Rantz: Many Seattle city council candidates won’t support police, drug laws

An alarming number of Seattle City Council candidates do not support fully staffing or funding the police department. And nearly a third of the candidates want the police to ignore drug laws.

21 hours ago

Bob Ferguson Governor Google data privacy lawsuit...

Jason Rantz

Rantz: Progressives shred Bob Ferguson for Governor endorsement

The Bob Ferguson for Governor campaign is off to a rocky start, already alienating Seattle activists after bragging about a police chief's endorsement.

2 days ago

freedom series homelessness...

KTTH staff

KTTH Freedom Series: WA still suffering from crime, homelessness

Local leaders and officials joined the KTTH Freedom Series to discuss solutions to the region's crime and homelessness crisis.

4 days ago

ktth freedom series crime crisis...

KTTH staff

KTTH Freedom Series: State policies created WA crime crisis

Jason Rantz was joined by politicians and authorities to discuss how policy has affected the crime crisis during the KTTH Freedom Series.

4 days ago

Seattle crime...

Bill Kaczaraba

KTTH Freedom Series: Seattle, Bellevue have dramatically different approaches to crime

The contrast between how Seattle and Bellevue address crime was at the forefront of the KTTH Freedom Series in Bellevue on Wednesday.

4 days ago

law screen drug offenders...

Max Gross

Gross: State Senator passes law to screen drug offenders prior to release

Republican State Senator Chris Gildon (R-Puyallup) wanted to see legislative guardrails put up around those who struggle with addiction.

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Internet Washington...

Major Internet Upgrade and Expansion Planned This Year in Washington State

Comcast is investing $280 million this year to offer multi-gigabit Internet speeds to more than four million locations.

Compassion International...

Brock Huard and Friends Rally Around The Fight for First Campaign

Professional athletes are teaming up to prevent infant mortality and empower women at risk in communities facing severe poverty.

Emergency Preparedness...

Prepare for the next disaster at the Emergency Preparedness Conference

Being prepared before the next emergency arrives is key to preserving businesses and organizations of many kinds.

SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...

Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Battle lines drawn among Republicans in state House over heated exchange between lawmaker, security