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MEMO: Amidst GOP Convention Battle, Both Insurgent Candidate Bird and Congressman Reichert Are Too Extreme for Washington

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FROM: Jordy Zeigler, DGA Political Director

TO: Interested Parties

DATE: 4/19/24

RE: Amidst GOP Convention Battle, Both Insurgent Candidate Bird and Congressman Reichert Are Too Extreme for Washington

This weekend, Washington Republicans from across the state are convening for their State Convention where, for the first time, they will select a candidate to endorse in the GOP primary for governor. Despite former Congressman Dave Reichert’s seven terms in Congress, greater name recognition, and significant financial advantage, many in-state party leaders are warning that MAGA insurgent and former Richland School Board member Semi Bird poses a credible threat that may prolong this bitter and competitive endorsement intra-party battle, and that there is no guarantee that Reichert will emerge victorious.

Since launching his campaign, Reichert has struggled to earn the trust of the GOP base after he “declined to endorse Trump as a congressman and won’t say whether he supports him this year.” According to the Seattle Times, the Republican parties in nearly half of Washington’s counties have endorsed Bird.

Despite Reichert’s base problems, he has proudly campaigned alongside a host of extreme and polarizing figures, and has an extensive record of voting to strip away Washingtonians’ rights, while Bird has been unabashed in his far-right bona fides. Ahead of Saturday’s endorsement vote, Washington voters know that both Reichert and Bird are too extreme to be Washington’s next governor on a number of key issues.

Banning Abortion:

  • Reichert spent his career in Congress voting against Washington families’ access to reproductive rights. He voted nearly nine times out of ten to deny women the right to make their own health care decisions, and voted repeatedly for a national abortion ban and to defund Planned Parenthood, as well as voting to allow pharmacists to deny women emergency contraception and employers to fire workers for seeking an abortion.

Siding With Trump: 

  • In Congress, Reichert rubber stamped Trump’s dangerous agenda, voting with the former President 92.5% of the time, including to ban abortion, repeal the Affordable Care Act, and co-sponsored Trump’s tax scheme to slash taxes for the wealthiest corporations.
  • Semi Bird is a proud Trump supporter, declaring his support for the former president following Washington’s presidential primary election results.

Too Extreme for Washington: 

  • Reichert touted the endorsement of John Nowels, a local sheriff who was previously “suspended for advocating domestic violence,” which he  has since refused to renounce.
  • A behind-closed-doors video of Reichert from February revealed his view that marriage is “between a man and a woman,” a view out of touch with over 80% of Washington voters.
  • Semi Bird was recalled by voters from serving on the school board for pushing COVID conspiracy theories and allegedly violating state law that aimed to stop the spread of the virus.