Republican Congressman Dave Reichert announced on Friday he will not run for governor in 2016. Instead, he plans to seek re-election to Congress to work on “some of the most important issues facing this nation and Washington state, including tax reform and free trade.”
Reichert was seen as the primary potential challenger against Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee, who is seeking a second term.
In a written statement, Reichert said he was “extremely disappointed in the decisions coming out of the governor’s office,” but felt that he could better serve the state in “another Washington.” The former King County sheriff has served six terms in the 8th Congressional District.
Other potential GOP challengers state Senators Andy Hill and Steve Litzow both declined to run for governor earlier this year.
Republican Port of Seattle Commissioner Bill Bryant declared his candidacy in May. He released a statement on Friday saying his campaign “now moves into a new phase” focused on challenges in education, wages and salmon runs.