Yup, Port of Seattle Commissioner Bill Bryant is the next Rob McKenna. In that he’s apparently running for governor. As a “moderate” Republican. Whatever that means.
Also, in that he will inevitably lose.
The word from the folks who track such things is that no politician has eaten more chicken dinners at more Republican events statewide than Bryant, making him the only potential GOP candidate currently putting in the time and effort necessary to win the nomination. Good for him.
The logic behind a Bryant candidacy is obvious. No Republican can win the governor’s mansion without getting more than 40 percent of the vote here in populous King County, a bar few Republicans can hurdle. But Bryant has actually twice won elections countywide. And as a low-profile putatively non-partisan port commissioner, he has mostly avoided the stink of Republican Party politics. So far.
No matter. Guilt by association. Bryant is a Republican, and that’s all King County voters will need to know. And yes, that’s perfectly fair.
This is the party that would deny women access to birth control (let alone abortions) because it thinks all women are whores or something. This is the party that is dedicated to the destruction of organized labor. This is the party that has fought tirelessly to deny tens of millions of Americans access to affordable health insurance. This is the party that relies on anti-immigrant dog whistles to rile up its base. This is the party that has made voter suppression the heart of its electoral strategy. This is the party that has championed the causes of privatizing Social Security and ending Medicare. This is the party that has defended Wall Street from the types of regulatory reforms necessary to prevent another Great Recession. This is the party that refuses to acknowledge the science of climate change and evolution. This is the party that blocks all reasonable gun control legislation. This is the party whose political obstruction here in Washington State has left King County Metro on the verge of cutting 600,000 hours of bus service. And I could go on. And on. And on.
Just like Rob McKenna and Dino Rossi before him, Bryant will surely tell King County voters that he’s not that kind of a Republican. But if so, why run as a Republican at all? Obviously, because he self-identifies with the broad set of values embraced by the Republican Party.
And those are values that are clearly out of step with the values of King County voters, and a majority of voters statewide.