Why Rep. Dave Reichert chose not to run for governor

Oct 16, 2015, 9:56 PM | Updated: 9:58 pm
Dave Reichert, health care, rittereiser...
Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert (AP)

Republican U.S. Representative Dave Reichert was seriously considering running to become Washington state’s next governor. But he ultimately passed.


The decision was weighing on the Washington politician and former King County Sheriff’s mind, as he was carrying out his duties in Washington D.C. But after giving a speech to the National Association of Counties a couple of weeks ago, he started to understand why he had to stay where he’s at.

“A member of the audience happened to be a city council member from Baltimore. Afterwards, she came up to me and said, ‘I really identified with what you were saying and how we can make some changes here. I invite you to come to Baltimore and speak with my community,'” Reichert told KIRO Radio’s Jason Rantz.

“I think I have a unique perspective in Congress and a unique opportunity when a city council member from Baltimore, who doesn’t know me, but heard me speak one time, asked me to come to Baltimore to help,” he said.

Reichert was recently appointed as the chairman of a congressional task force that is looking into the troubling relationships between some communities in America and the police forces that are meant to protect them. It is one responsibility he holds in D.C. It is an example of a goal that he has yet to accomplish.

And that is ultimately why the representative passed on the opportunity to run for the governor’s office &#8212 goals.

“As I considered running for governor again, I thought about the job that I’m doing here and all the things that I could do as governor, but all the things I would leave unfinished here,” he said. “I’m just not that personality; I can’t do it. I got to finish the stuff I started, then look at other opportunities.”

It was an issue that was raised when speaking with fellow Republican Paul Ryan, who told Reichert that he would prefer the Washingtonian stayed in Washington D.C.

“I need you here. I want you to stay. I don’t want you to run for governor,” is what Ryan said, according to Reichert.

“That might have had something to do with my decision, too,” Reichert said.

He is also a senior member on the Ways and Means Committee, chairman of the Tax subcommittee, and a senior member of the Trade Subcommittee; in all of which he has work to complete.

“One of the major goals there is to get to a point where tax reform is simplified to a point that 99 percent of Americans can complete their own tax form,” Reichert said.

“Trade for Washington is so critical and we haven’t wrapped up the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. We want to make sure that’s fair to American businesses and workers,” he said.

And, as a representative with law enforcement experience, he wants to help bridge the divide between citizens and their police. While he said that the federal government can help to a point, solutions to this issue need to be made at the local level.

“When you don’t have that connection between cops and community and the cops show up when you-know-what hits the fan, people look at the officer and say, ‘Who are you? Where have you been and why should I trust you?'”

Jason Rantz on AM 770 KTTH
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Why Rep. Dave Reichert chose not to run for governor