Washington Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib—the man who banned firearms in the state Senate viewers’ gallery two years ago—has announced he will not seek re-election in November, opening the door for a serious pro-gun Republican to make a run, while one report already suggests anti-gun Democrat King County Executive Dow Constantine might succeed Habib.
Warming up for a run, according to the Seattle Times, are “Two Republicans…former Democratic Seattle council candidate Ann Davison Sattler and Joseph Brumbles.” The latter unsuccessfully challenged U.S. Rep. Denny Heck, D-Olympia.”
The Times, and other news outlets, seem far more interested in creating the impression Democrats own the seat. That newspaper reported Democrat Sen. Steve Hobbs would run, and suggested two other Democrats—Sen. Marko Liias and Department of Commerce Director Lisa Brown—might enter the race.
Under Democrat control, the Washington Legislature has adopted several unpopular gun control schemes, the most recent being the creation of a state Office of Firearms Violence Prevention. Attorney William K. Kirk writes on his website, “What should concern any lawful and responsible gun owner in the State of Washington is that the current Governor and Attorney General have shown a general disdain for the Second Amendment. Passing legislation which gives the Executive branch another lobbying arm and legislative force should concern any citizen who cherishes their Second Amendment Rights.”
Habib two years ago banned firearms from the Senate viewers’ gallery in reaction to a demonstration by several armed citizens who entered the House chamber and posed for photos with raised firearms. Habib, who has been blind since childhood, explained his decision at the time: “I don’t want us to be implementing this type of order the day after some type of tragedy.” He said guns in the gallery violated “order and decorum required for the operation of the Senate.”
Brumbles and Sattler have both been raising money, and the latter has garnered some important conservative endorsements including Seattle conservative talk host Kirby Wilbur at KVI-AM and state Senate Minority Leader Mark Schoesler. She’s also been endorsed by House Minority Leader J.T. Wilcox.
But possibly the greatest “endorsement” for Sattler came in January when she switched parties. According to KCPQ News, the Washington State Democratic Party issued a bristling statement asserting Sattler had “misrepresented her values and commitment to progressive policy.”
Her explanation for the party switch was equally sharp: “All my life I assumed that the Democratic Party believed in acceptance and tolerance, but that was not my experience…Those claiming to be the most tolerant, through their political party affiliation, showed their intolerance to differing political thought and approaches to problems.
“Well,” she added, “if caring about improving problems and not wanting to waste taxpayer money makes me a Republican, then so be it.”
Brumbles has been busy raising money and hitting small and large gatherings, all of which are now on hold due to the coronavirus panic. He is running a populist grassroots campaign.
If the State GOP launches a genuine campaign to put a Republican in the Lieutenant Governor’s office, they might have a shot this year. Gun owners and conservatives are fired up over two major issues: Passage and enforcement of gun control Initiative 1639 and passage, and attempts by Democrats to derail, Initiative 976, which limits car license tab fees to $30. A coalition of angry taxpayers and furious gun owners just might put a Republican in that position.