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Ferguson hits Reichert on abortion rights -- and Trump -- at big Seattle fundraiser

Jim Brunner, The Seattle Times on

Published in Political News

The gubernatorial primary may be eight months away, but Democratic Attorney General Bob Ferguson is already looking ahead to a presumed 2024 matchup against former Republican U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert — and Donald Trump.

Speaking to a packed fundraising lunch Tuesday at the Seattle Convention Center, Ferguson and his supporters brought up Trump early and often, while attacking Reichert as unwilling to stand up to the former president.

"If Donald Trump is elected president again — and let's be honest, that is a very real possibility — we will need a governor who is ready on day one to protect our democracy, our rights and our environment from his illegal and unconstitutional attacks," Ferguson said.

"The good news is I have a little bit of experience with that," he said, referring to the dozens of lawsuits his office filed against the Trump administration.

He contrasted his combative stance with Reichert's record of voting with the Trump administration agenda more than 90% of the time when he was in Congress.

"Donald Trump's No. 1 nightmare is our dream, and that's Bob Ferguson," said Gov. Jay Inslee, who has endorsed Ferguson to succeed him, speaking to the crowd of more than 1,200 at the lunch.

 

Nationalizing governors races is a familiar playbook for Democrats, who have capitalized mightily on the unpopularity of Trump and the national Republican Party among Washington voters. Democrats have run the table during the Trump era, now holding every statewide office along with majorities in the Legislature.

Despite those political tail winds boosting Democrats — and Ferguson's dominant campaign cash advantage — speakers at the fundraiser played up the potential of a close race next year.

King County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay urged attendees to donate generously to Ferguson's campaign, pointing to past open-seat gubernatorial races that have come down to the wire.

"All of this talk about Bob being the presumptive front-runner, about him far outpacing his opponents — don't let that distract you," Zahilay said.

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©2023 The Seattle Times. Visit seattletimes.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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