It's official: Dave Reichert enters race for Washington governor
Dave Reichert has officially announced his campaign for Washington governor, making him the most prominent Republican in the race. The move has prompted one GOP candidate to drop out of the gubernatorial race.
"I'm Dave Reichert and I'm running for governor to protect the vulnerable, to help small businesses, and to keep people safe," Reichert says in a 33-second video officially announcing his run for governor.
Reichert's video announcement is simple and to the point. It stands in contrast to the announcements of his Democratic counterparts, who released minutes-long, highly-produced videos, such as Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz. In his 33 seconds, Reichert lays out his view that government should be open, and not "pitting one region against another, one generation against another, one family against another."
"So buckle up. We're going to show America there is another way. Catch you down the road."
The official announcement appeared on recently opened social media profiles, and a website that just went live. It arrives one week after news broke that Reichert filed paperwork with the state as a candidate for governor.
In conjunction with Reichert's run for governor, Raul Garcia, a physician from Yakima, has dropped out of the gubernatorial race and has shifted his campaign to run for Senate. Garcia has also been viewed as a moderate Republican. On Friday, he told KING5 it doesn't make sense to go head-to-head with Reichert when they share many of the same ideals.
"I will be challenging Maria Cantwell in the upcoming 2024 election," Garcia said in a brief Facebook post. "We need a senator for Washington who truly listens and offers solutions instead of politics to the office. Together we can restore health, effective leadership, and unity to Washington."
Reichert has something his remaining Republican competition does not: name recognition. He was previously King County sheriff, and a seven-term Congress member from Washington's 8th District. He is also known as a member of the task force that brought in the Green River Killer in 2001.
In Congress, Reichert leaned into traditional GOP issues, such as lower taxes and limited government. He was on the Ways and Means Committee. He was also a member of the Main Street Partnership, a caucus of moderate Republicans, which also included then-Sen. John McCain and former Washington Congressmember Jaime Herrera Beutler. GovTrack.us ranks Reichert as center-right. In 2017, he favored repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, but also voted against the GOP's health-care bill that same year.
Other Washington GOP candidates include Richmond School Board member Semi Bird, Chehalis restaurant owner Laurel Kahn, James Daniel, Kristin Schuler, Martin Wheeler, Tony Tasmaly, and Daniel Miller. The last time Washington had a Republican governor was in 1985 — Gov. John Spellman's final year in office.
It didn't take long after Reichert's video was published for his Democratic competition to weigh in, criticizing the new candidate.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson released a statement attacking Reichert, primarily around abortion rights and related issues.
“Dave Reichert represents a profound threat to reproductive freedom,” Ferguson said. “Reichert’s anti-choice record is deeply concerning in the face of attacks from anti-choice extremists seeking to eliminate access to abortion in every state, including Washington. Washingtonians need a governor that will fight for their freedom to choose."