Former 8th District Congressman and King County Sheriff Dave Reichert is running for Governor. 

Reichert is a Republican who's running for an office Democrats have held since the 1980s. 

He thinks he can break the Democratic stronghold because of the strengths he would bring to the office. 

"I think we have a great opportunity here," said Reichert. "My background fits like a glove with the issues that we're faced with today in Washington state, especially in the criminal justice world, especially when you then switch to homelessness and look at substance abuse." 

Reichert appeared at a Republican Party event in Wenatchee Thursday night. 

He says he'll be able to stem the constant flow of Democratic measures that have brought higher taxes and costs to consumers. 

"As the governor, Republican governor, when we get into office, we have the power of the veto pen," Reichert said. "And that's a line-by-line veto power and authority." 

Reichert's running in a deep blue state where all statewide offices are controlled by Democrats. 

Washington has a top-two primary system, where only the leading two vote-getting candidates move on to the general election, regardless of party affiliation. With the strong Democratic lean of Washington statewide, it's possible that no Republican candidate makes it to the general election ballot in statewide races. 

Democratic State Attorney General Bob Ferguson is leading in the polls among Democrats in the race for governor. However, another well-known Democrat, Mark Mullet, also has a chance to make it through to the general election, which would snuff out Republican chances.  

Some Republicans are hoping to build momentum with early endorsements that could uncork a wave of campaign donations and support much sooner than in prior election years. They believe such an effort could improve their chances with statewide candidates. 

Still, polling has suggested a tight race in a matchup of Reihert and Ferguson. An NPI poll in November gave Reichert a 46%-44% lead over Ferguson. The same poll in February showed Ferguson with a 46%-42% lead. 

A Crosscut/Elway poll in January found 37% of voters would or could choose Ferguson while 31% said they would not consider Ferguson. The numbers were inversed for Reichert, with 31% saying they would or could vote for the former congressman and 38% saying Reichert would not be their choice. 

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