Washington State gubernatorial candidate Bill Bryant met with supporters today at the McMenamins Anderson School in Bothell.
He met with around 25 volunteers to kick-start a phone campaign in advance of the Aug. 2 primary elections.
His campaign will be stopping in 23 cities across the state during this election tour. They will be focusing, in particular, on some 100,000 conservative voters his campaign identified as not likely to vote in this election without prompting.
“We’ve got to get these people engaged and let them know that their vote really matters,” Bryant said.
In Bryant’s mind, Gov. Jay Inslee won the last election not because Democrats voted for him, but because Republicans didn’t vote.
After a short dialogue the volunteers were presented with a list of names and began making phone calls.
Bryant’s appearance also drew a group of Democratic protesters holding signs outside, voicing opposition to both him and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
In a statement, 1st Legislative District Democrats Chair Dan Wilner said: “We’re here to speak out against the Trump, Bryant agenda. They present a dangerous agenda that will take us back on LGBT rights, preventing gun violence and the minimum wage.”
Bryant is a conservative and current member of the elected King County and Seattle Port Commission.
His positions on many issues falls in line with standard conservative views.
On transportation, Bryant thinks putting infrastructure engineering to the forefront will help the region, instead of what he called a current focus on social engineering.
He proposes increasing bus rapid transit in congested corridors as an alternative to large-scale light rail expansions.
Returning one of the toll lanes along Interstate 405 to a general purpose lane was also on his bucket list.
“That’s what the people paid for, that’s what they were promised,” he said.
In terms of education reform, Bryant said he wants to focus on increasing graduation rates.
He said schools in Sunnyside and Granger in the lower Yakima Valley are good examples of high graduation rates achieved through administrative leadership.
He also supports redesigning high school curriculum to allow greater job training opportunities during the final two years.
Bryant has spoken out against the Affordable Care Act, saying it creates fewer full-time jobs Crosscut has reported he was critical of Inslee’s welcoming of Syrian Refugees to the state.
Bryant also opposes a uniform raising of the minimum wage, saying wage increases should be tailored to meet the needs of individual counties.
And while local Democrats view Bryant’s campaign as tied to Trump’s presidential bid, he said he will be focusing on issues closer to home.
“I’m gonna focus on the issues that a Governor focuses on,” he said.
Michael Green was volunteering for Bryant and said his down-to-earth demeanor attracted him to Bryant’s campaign.
A view which other volunteers shared.
“He’s definitely got the right heart for the leadership we would need to see,” Green said.