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Morning Wire: Reichert for Gov?, Seattle Seahawks, Rep. Joe Schmick

The purpose of the Washington State Wire is to provide smart, strategic content with thoughtful brevity. We create original content, and we lean on the good work of others. We see our role as helping you look ahead just a little bit, to better know where the policy, political, and economic landscape is heading.

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1. Will Reichert run for governor in 2020?

Congressman Dave Reichert’s announcement that he won’t run for re-election to his seat in Congress got lots of folks talking about what that means for the 8th CD in 2018.  Three Democratic candidates are already in, but that field looks to get more crowded. On the Republican side, Dino Rossi has previously said privately this is the only seat he might run for in the future, and coincidentally, someone has purchased  But lots of Republicans are looking at the race.

Forward looking thinkers, however, are wondering if this is a strategic move by Reichert to prepare for a run for governor in 2020.  He has long thought about running for governor, including in 2016.

I lay out four reasons Reichert will run for governor in 2020 in this recent post.  However, to give you the punch line early, the reasons he might run are the exact same reasons I think – in the end – he may pass.

2. Podcast:  Rep. Joe Schmick (R-9th, Colfax)

Rep. Joe Schmick is a gentleman-legislator and, until recently, one of the few remaining legislators still actively farming his family’s land. By my count, he’s also the 5th most senior Republican in the State House, by years of service. So, he’s seen a thing or two during his time as Vice Chair of the House Republican Caucus, and Ranking Member of the House Health and Wellness Committee.

We sat down with him in Spokane for this podcast interview where we discussed the East/West divide, his views on Gov. Inslee, and his respect for Rep. Eileen Cody.

On his political approach in Olympia: “I think that’s part of politics, to be able to disagree without being disagreeable… One of the things I’ve learned in politics is if you have someone down, and they know you have them down, don’t go in for the kill.  You may need them the next time.”

3. “Four corner” discussion on health, fiscal policy

Through our sister site,, I was honored to host a four corner discussion last week in Spokane at the 2017 Inland NW State of Reform Health Policy Conference. Here’s what you missed if you weren’t there.

Sen. Andy Billig, Sen. Ann Rivers, Rep. Timm Ormsby, and Rep. Joe Schmick sat down with us in a unique conversation about the state of policy, of politics, and of our economy in Washington State. Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler joined us as our morning keynote speaker as well.  He highlighted the status of federal health policy, gleaned from his testimony before the Senate HELP Committee two weeks ago. He also talked through what he hopes to see in terms of legislative initiative in 2018.

If you’re not already on our email list for health policy coverage, you can sign up here.

4. Ed Murray’s impact on Cary Moon’s candidacy

Cary Moon was out early in calling for Ed Murray to step down. At the moment he announced his resignation, she was holding a press conference asking him to step down again. When she found out in the middle of questions with reporters, it made for a powerful moment of victory for Moon caught on camera.

Will Ed Murray’s resignation become wind in the sails of Cary Moon’s campaign for Seattle mayor? According to a poll from the Moon campaign, the race has tightened considerably as we prepare for the home stretch in October.  We’ll be polling in this race next week.

In our recent podcast with her, I asked Moon if she thought this election was in part a referendum on Ed Murray: “Yea, I think so. I think watching the changes the past four years, the people who aren’t happy, who are being pushed out, who are being displaced, who are falling farther and farther behind economically, they want change and they’re looking for different solutions.”

5.  Poll:  45th shows Dhinghra in strong lead

A new poll in the 45th legislative district shows Democratic candidate Manka Dhingra with a double-digit lead over her Republican opponent Jinyoung Englund. You can see the story here.

Kylie Walsh, a reporter on our team, writes: “The poll found that Dhingra is leading Englund by 51 to 41 percent. Among voters who are likely to vote in the special election, her lead increased to 55 to 41 percent.” This trend reflects the results of the primary where Dhingra won 51.5% to 41.5%.

During conversations with a number of legislators and advocates over the last two weeks, both sides are increasingly accepting that the balance of power will shift in the Senate to Democrats come November. But, don’t expect that to mean a progressive take over of the chamber.  The “Road Kill Caucus” will likely return to its prominent role in deal making in the body.

6. When the Seahawks were moving to Anaheim

Many of the new Seahawks fans won’t remember when the NFL franchise was set to move to Los Angeles. Ken Behring, the former owner, ordered the trucks to move the entire team on 24 hours notice.

Gary Locke was King County Executive at the time: “We had to go to court to keep the team in Seattle.” Jeanne Kohl-Welles was a legislator: “Having a new stadium here and keeping the Seahawks would help us fund our schools, would help fund our essential services.”

In a new short documentary, the Seahawks re-tell the story of the passage of Referendum 48, the statewide vote in June, 1997, that committed the people of Washington State to a partnership with Paul Allen in the construction of what we now call CenturyLink Field. The measure passed 51-49 under the leadership of former Gov. Dan Evans, Gov. Booth Gardner, Mayor Norm Rice, and others.  Sen. Tim Sheldon and Ralph Nader led the opposition.

If you’re a fan of the Hawks, it’s worth recalling the challenges of 20 years ago. If you’re thinking about the Sonics coming to town in a new Key Arena, it’s a road map for bridging the gap between policy makers and fans.