‘We want to unify the state’: Dave Reichert says he will run to be Wash. governor

Jul 7, 2023, 12:33 PM | Updated: Jul 9, 2023, 9:24 am

Reichert governor campaign...

Reichert released his announcement as a short video on YouTube, saying that he was running for governor (Photo from Dave Reichert for Governor)

(Photo from Dave Reichert for Governor)

Former U.S. congressman and King County Sheriff Dave Reichert announced Friday he will run to be Washington’s next governor.

Reichert released his announcement as a short video on YouTube, saying that he was running for governor to “protect the vulnerable, to help small businesses, and to keep people safe.”

“I’ve spent an entire lifetime devoted to those three things, and I know I can make a difference,” Reichert said in his announcement. “I believe that the government should be open and responsive, not pitting one region against another, one generation against another, one family against another.”

In late June, The Associated Press reported Reichert had filed campaign paperwork with the state Public Disclosure Commission to run.

During an interview on Friday’s Jason Rantz Show on KTTH 770 AM, Reichert outlined reasons why he decided to run now and not in previous years, including wanting to be a different kind of candidate for Republicans in the state.

“A lot of moderate Republicans are looking at supporting a moderate Democrat, it just seemed wrong to me that the Republicans in the state of Washington should have to give up,” Reichert said. “Basically, that’s what was happening in (settling) for a moderate Democrat, since we’ve had no Republican governor for over 40 years.”

The candidate added he’s not happy with the current state of affairs in Olympia.

“I’m just tired of seeing our state government sort of be behaving as a dictatorship, rather than working with the people listening to the people,” Reichert said.

Reichert also noted he turned down past opportunities to run because he wanted to remain as King County Sheriff until the Green River Killings were solved and that case was over. Reichert was the first detective assigned to the Green River killings in 1982. Gary Ridgway, who killed 49 women, was arrested and convicted in 2003 during Reichert’s second term.

His law enforcement background led him to another reason why he wanted to run for governor.

“I feel like today, my brothers and sisters in law enforcement need backup. And I think the best way I can improve that is to be has to be leading the state,” Reichert said.

As he joins the increasingly crowded Republican race, another candidate Dr. Raul Garcia, dropped out of the race and endorsed Reichert. The former sheriff hopes voters take notice of the political moves and identify a group looking to promote unity.

“I think that move and the agreement that Dr. Garcia and I have made is just an indication to all voters in Washington state not just for the Republican Party, but for all voters in Washington State to take notice,” Reichert told Rantz.” We’re trying to unify and not just the Republican Party, we want to unify the state.”

Dr. Garcia moves on: Republican doctor drops out of gubernatorial race, eyes US Senate run

Misipati Semi Bird, Laurel Khan, Martin Wheeler, Kriss Schuler, and Jim Daniel are among those Republicans who have also declared their candidacy for governor. Democrats running include Public Land Commissioner Hilary Franz, Washington state Sen. Mark Mullet, and State Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

Reichert served as King County sheriff from 1997-2004 and was elected to Congress in 2004 as the Representative for the 8th district, which stretches from Sammamish and Issaquah to Leavenworth. He did not seek reelection after completing his seventh term in 2017.

Contributing: Steve Coogan

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‘We want to unify the state’: Dave Reichert says he will run to be Wash. governor