Reichert: Ferguson trying to ‘undermine my reputation’ as honest public servant

Jun 7, 2024, 4:00 PM | Updated: 6:28 pm

Image: Former Congressman Dave Reichert is running in 2024 to be Washington's governor....

Former Congressman Dave Reichert is running in 2024 to be Washington's governor. (Photo courtesy of Dave Reichert for Governor/

(Photo courtesy of Dave Reichert for Governor/

Dave Reichert, one of the leading candidates to become the next governor of Washington, has never publicly stated that he would vote for former President Donald Trump in the 2024 presidential election despite them both representing the Republican party.

But The Seattle Times revealed Reichert’s feelings toward Trump, claiming he nodded that he would vote for the former president during a private conversation with a group of Republicans back in March. The Times leaked that conversation in a piece published online Thursday morning.

During a lengthy appearance on KIRO Newsradio’s “The Gee and Ursula Show” Friday, Travis Mayfield, KIRO Newsradio guest host, directly asked Reichert, “Will you be voting for Donald Trump in the presidential election?”

“That question seems to be almost comical,” Reichert responded. “No. 1, why does it matter who I’m going to vote for? Secondly, it seems that the Ferguson campaign is very focused on this. He’s got trackers on me. Every comment I make, his strategy is to take those comments out of context. So, it doesn’t matter who I’m voting for. I’m not going to nationalize this campaign by answering that question directly.”

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In the leaked audio from the Times, Reichert stated publicly supporting Trump would be a “nail in the coffin” for his candidacy. Reichert later said in his interview on “Gee and Ursula” that no matter what Trump’s policies are, if he’s elected in 2024, it would have no impact on his policy decisions as governor of Washington.

“On policy, I’m going to make that decision based upon what the people of Washington state would like us to do,” Reichert continued. “That’s what I did for 14 years in Congress in a Democrat district. I’ve been accused of being a rhino by one side and MAGA Trump by the other side. So whether I say I’m voting for Trump or not voting for Trump, if I told you today I was not voting for Trump, what would happen is I’d still be labeled as a MAGA Trump person.”

Reichert’s top priority as governor: Public safety

Reichert, a former sheriff of King County and former congressman of Washington’s 8th District, has valued public safety throughout his career as a public servant, a sentiment echoed in his travels around the state for his gubernatorial campaign.

“Sadly, we’re hearing about violent crime occurring on the streets of Washington almost every day now, so public safety is priority No. 1,” Reichert said.

Working previously as a patrol cop, a jailer for King County Sheriff’s Office, a homicide detective, a SWAT commander and as a hostage negotiator before taking on more managerial roles within law enforcement, Reichert’s 10-point plan focuses on police recruiting, directing the Washington State Patrol (WSP) to enforce the law, utilizing grant program funds to identify and arrest cartel and gang members trafficking drugs into the region while also prioritizing efforts against domestic violence and human trafficking.

According to the findings of the annual Crime in Washington report for 2022 from the Washington Association of Sheriffs & Police Chiefs (WASPC), the state’s per capita total of officers was 1.36 that year, the lowest on record, compared to the national average of 2.31 officers per capita. (A PDF of a shorter presentation related to the crime report can be seen here. A PDF of the full report can be viewed here.)

“My second priority is the homelessness issue, which is definitely directly related to public safety and really has to do with mental illness and substance abuse — those two major things are causing homelessness,” Reichert added, while also promising that the state’s economy and education are other immediate issues he wants to address.

“Do you think that we have lowered the standard when it comes to holding those responsible for those that are committing these crimes in this state?” Gee Scott, co-host of “The Gee and Ursula Show” asked.

“I do. People have to have an expectation that when you commit a crime, there are consequences to the crime. And that goes for police officers too,” Reichert answered. “We all are human beings. We all make mistakes. I do believe in second chances, third chances, but sooner or later, you have to learn a lesson that you can’t continue a life of crime and have no consequences attached to that. I do think there is a lack of accountability.”

Reichert cited that approximately 250,000 people left Washington for good last year, with many of them citing public and personal safety as a primary reason for departing.

Reichert on gay marriage, LGBTQ+ rights

During a meeting with the Pierce County Republican Party on Feb. 21, Reichert claimed marriage is only between a man and a woman while also revealing he does not support transgender students participating in athletics.

“I have my own personal beliefs: Reichert speaks on same-sex marriage following Ferguson’s post

“Is your marriage to a woman better than my marriage to a man?” Mayfield asked Reichert.

“Absolutely not,” Reichert answered. “These laws that you talked about — gay marriage, abortion — both have been decided by the people of Washington. As governor, I intend to honor those laws that have been passed by the people and that have been codified in law and set in place in Washington.”

Dave Reichert explains who he is, takes on Bob Ferguson

“Which Dave Reichert are we getting? In my opinion, there seems to be a Dave Reichert in some of these rooms where he’s talking to others (privately). There’s a Dave Reichert where he is talking to everyone,” Gee said. “Tell me personally, who am I voting for if I pick you for governor?”

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“What I’ve just shared with you and your listeners, is the Dave Reichert that people should expect — my personal beliefs and my expression of my personal beliefs.

“In any meetings, I know that I’m being recorded every time. So these aren’t statements made without knowledge that somebody is recording me,” Reichert continued. “These are statements that are taken out of context in the middle of a conversation that are given to the news media by my opponent, Bob Ferguson who, right now, has decided he doesn’t want to talk about his effort to support defunding of police. He doesn’t want to talk about the non-pursuit policy that he supported. He doesn’t want us to talk about supporting legalizing fentanyl on the streets of our cities.

“You’ve got a candidate on the other side of the aisle who’s running a campaign that is specifically directed at trying to undermine my reputation as an honest cop and honest member of Congress.”

Frank Sumrall is a content editor at MyNorthwest. You can read his stories here and you can email him here.

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