Dave Reichert Gives GOP Shot in Washington Gov. Race

Dave Reichert Gives GOP Shot in Washington Gov. Race

Both Republicans and Democrats understand that the candidacy of former U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert could make for a very competitive governor’s race in the blue state of Washington.

Reichert, who left politics in 2018 after serving eight terms in the U.S. House, is the GOP front-runner in the race to replace Democrat Gov. Jay Inslee.

Inslee, who sought to make the state a leader on progressive policies from climate change to gun violence prevention, announced May 1 he would not seek a fourth term in office.

Washington hasn’t had a GOP governor in nearly 30 years, and there’s no statewide elected Republican currently serving.

“It’s been [30] years of wandering in the wilderness,” Reichert said last month, Politico reported. “The same government for years, and nothing has changed. We’re fed up, and we want change.”

Although President Joe Biden carried Washington by 19 points in 2020, Reichert insists Republicans can perform well in next year’s election.

“When they say ‘we can’t win in Washington state’ — we can,” Reichert said, Politico reported. “You can if you’re the right candidate at the right time.”

Reichert, who previously considered challenging Inslee in 2016 and 2020 before deciding not to, argues that the state’s struggles with crime and homelessness, and pessimism about the economy create an opening – and a recent poll indicated he may be right.

Survey results published last month by the Northwest Progressive Institute showed Reichert with a 2-point lead over Attorney General Bob Ferguson, the leading Democrat candidate.

Reichert is a former sheriff of King County, which includes both Seattle and Bellevue, a major outpost for some of the world’s largest tech companies.

“My name ID in King County is near 65%, and in Seattle proper it’s about the same,” he said. “But it’s not just recognizing the name. People feel this connection to me in a personal way because of my experience, especially in the sheriff’s office, but also in Congress.”

During his time in Washington, D.C., Reichert was known as a moderate. He often was ranked among the most bipartisan members of the House.

Democrats have signaled they would hammer Reichert over his pro-life stance, and plan on connecting him to former President Donald Trump, the current clear front-runner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

Challenging Reichert for the Republican nomination is Semi Bird, a former Richland school board member recently ousted from office in a recall. He characterizes himself as a constitutional Christian conservative.

“I am seen as the grassroots candidate. Dave Reichert is looked at as the left-moderate conservative,” Bird told The Seattle Times. “He cannot win in King County, nor can he win in Eastern Washington. The only way Dave Reichert can win the primary is if I am not in the primary.”

Charlie McCarthy | editorial.mccarthy@newsmax.com

Charlie McCarthy, a writer/editor at Newsmax, has nearly 40 years of experience covering news, sports, and politics.

© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Originally Posted on: https://www.newsmax.com/politics/rep-dave-reichert-washington-governor/2023/12/24/id/1147065

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