Candidate for governor Dave Reichert makes pitch during Adna campaign stop


As he introduced Dave Reichert during a campaign event in Adna, Lewis County Sheriff Rob Snaza, who is not up for reelection this November but has endorsed Reichert’s campaign, said the longtime King County sheriff is the only candidate for governor who can put Washington back on the right track.

“We need to stop this,” Snaza said Saturday. “And the only person we have that can help stop this, and turn things around, is Dave Reichert.”

The visit by Reichert is the second in recent months after a fundraiser at Jester Auto Museum and Events Center in March. Dave Larson, who is vying for a seat on the state supreme court, was also in attendance.

The speech Saturday touched on many of the hallmarks of Reichert’s campaign, including a desire to bring more support to law enforcement.

“Our cops need backup, and we’re going to be the backup for them,” Reichert said.

The former sheriff of King County, Reichert later represented Washington’s Eighth Congressional District in Congress from 2005 to 2019. Reichert frequently references his time in law enforcement, including his most notable case, the Green River Killer.

“That nine years of collecting dead bodies, week after week after week, the scores and scores of dead bodies, can you imagine?” Reichert said Saturday. “And these are little girls and young women. Coming home every night to my family, and most often, having to undress in the garage because my clothes smelled so bad.”

During the campaign, Reichert has repeatedly said cops should face a higher standard for potential criminal charges in cases of use of force, a proposal he pitched again on Saturday.

“When you make a decision like that, and somebody gets hurt, and now you’re the one going to jail, that’s not right,” Reichert said. “Because they’re putting their life on the line, they’re putting their life on the line.”

If elected, Reichert also vowed to appoint someone to serve as a “lead” to end homelessness.

“I want one person to report to me as the governor. I want one person to be the conduit between the other agencies that are working on homelessness. I want data. I want results. I want people to show that their program is actually working,” Reichert said. “Because what we’ve been doing is just pouring money into the homelessness problem, and none of it has worked.”

As part of the proposal, Reichert proposed housing for homeless residents on the campus of The Evergreen State College in Olympia. Reichert previously floated a similar facility on McNeil Island, the site of a former state prison.

“I mean it’s got everything you need. It’s got a cafeteria. It’s got rooms. So let’s use that. We’ll house the homeless there and surround them with all of the social services that they need,” Reichert said of his plans for The Evergreen State College.

While the state has not elected a Republican governor in nearly four decades, Reichert said he can break the trend using a three-pronged approach.

“Number one, we’re going to make sure the election is fair. Number two is on you … vote. You guys got to vote. But that’s not all. There’s more to it than just that,” Reichert said. “Get your neighbors to vote. Get your kids to vote. Get your grandkids to vote, if they’re old enough.”

The third prong, Reichert said, is convincing Democrats and independents to support his campaign.

Though the Washington state Republican Party formally backed Misipati “Semi” Bird for governor during the party’s convention in Spokane, Reichert did not directly mention Bird.

In his speech, he briefly referred to Democratic frontrunner Bob Ferguson as he attacked his public safety plan. The potential matchup between Ferguson and Reichert is something both candidates are keenly aware of as a possibility.

In a video interview with The Seattle Times editorial board that was released last week, Ferguson said, “The general election is going to be me and Dave Reichert.”

“That’s what’s going to happen in this campaign,” Ferguson  said.

Polling released in May by Cascade PBS shows Reichert running a tight campaign with Ferguson, the state’s attorney general. The poll found 22% of respondents supported Ferguson, compared to 20% who supported Reichert. According to the poll,  47% of registered voters are undecided about the race for governor.

“The polls that are coming out are showing us, we’re neck in neck with some, or we’re a little bit ahead in some, or we’re one or two points behind, which is within the margin of error,” Reichert said. “So we’re in this race.”

A top-two primary will be held on Aug. 6 to decide which two candidates advance to the general election. The general election will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 5.

“When we win this governor’s seat, hostage negotiations will come in very handy as the governor, too, because we’re going to be vetoing a lot of bad bills,” Reichert said. “The automatic signatures aren’t going to be there anymore. It’s going to be veto, veto, veto, veto. And guess who's going to have to come and talk? The Democrat House and the Senate.”


Campaign video featuring Snaza draws PDC warning

The support by Snaza garnered a formal warning from Washington’s Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) last month after he, along with seven other county sheriffs, appeared in a campaign advertisement touting Reichert’s commitment to public safety.

In his remarks on Saturday, Snaza briefly acknowledged appearing in a promotional video for the Reichert campaign, which he said came after a meeting of county sheriffs in Ellensburg last year. During the meeting, Reichert told the sheriffs his intention to run and, according to Snaza, said “I can’t do it without you guys. I need your support.”

“I was the first to sign. I said, ‘Hey, I’m signing, I’m there for him,’” Snaza said. “And then we get up, and we do a video, talking about the great things that Dave Reichert can do, not only for Lewis County, which holds all our values but the values that we need to put in Olympia. We need to bring Olympia back the way it was 40 years ago.”

In the brief appearance, which the PDC found was recorded in a sheriff's facility office with county internet and a county-owned computer, Snaza is wearing a sheriff’s uniform, and his title and a Lewis County Sheriff’s Office logo appear on the screen.

In a March letter to the PDC, Snaza acknowledged he “unintentionally violated” a state law that prohibits officials from using public facilities to promote or oppose a candidate.

“In the future, I will make sure this does not happen. Over the past 10-plus years as sheriff of Lewis County, I have worked tirelessly to keep the integrity of the office of sheriff,” Snaza wrote. “In conclusion, I accept full responsibility for my actions. I apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused your office and the citizens I serve. I would ask that any financial penalty be waived.”

According to the warning, the PDC contacted the Reichert campaign and requested the “voluntary removal” of the video “because it is promotional of the campaign and includes elected Washington state sheriffs who in some cases are in county-issued uniform or using public facilities.”

As of 9 a.m., Monday, the video still appears on Reichert’s campaign website and Facebook page. In addition to Snaza, five other sheriffs received written warnings for appearing in the video, while two complaints were dismissed without evidence of a violation.