Jul 5, 2023 - Politics

Dave Reichert jumps into race for Washington governor

Image of silver-haired politician smiling.

Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Wash., at a House Ways and Means Committee Trade Subcommittee hearing in 2018. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images

Former U.S. Rep Dave Reichert (R-Auburn) has filed paperwork to run for Washington governor.

Why it matters: In recent years, Republicans have struggled to find high-profile candidates to challenge Democrats' 40-year grip on Washington's governor's office.

  • If Reichert appears on the 2024 ballot, he would be the most prominent Republican to run for the position since 2012, when former state Attorney General Rob McKenna lost to Democrat Jay Inslee.
  • Inslee recently announced he is stepping down after three terms.

Flashback: Reichert represented Washington's 8th Congressional District in Congress from 2005 to 2019. Before that, he served as King County sheriff.

Details: The paperwork Reichert filed with the state Public Disclosure Commission allows him to raise money for a gubernatorial campaign, but doesn't formally put his name on the ballot.

  • For that, he and other candidates will have to file separate paperwork with the Washington secretary of state's office in spring 2024.

The big picture: Other candidates actively campaigning for the governorship include Attorney General Bob Ferguson, state Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz and state Sen. Mark Mullet, all of whom are Democrats.

  • On the Republican side, the field includes Yakima physician Raul Garcia and Richland school board member Semi Bird.

Of note: The last time a Republican was elected governor in Washington state was John Spellman in 1980.


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