All NOT Quiet on the NW Front: Another Pro-2A Candidate for WA Governor

“It’s a little disturbing to me as a gun owner to have these people, (who) have no idea what they’re talking about, draft gun legislation.”—Washington State Sen. Phil Fortunato
“It’s a little disturbing to me as a gun owner to have these people, (who) have no idea what they’re talking about, draft gun legislation.”—Washington State Sen. Phil Fortunato (Photo courtesy Phil Fortunato)

U.S.A.-(Ammoland.com)- A second pro-rights Republican—this one a veteran state lawmaker—has entered the race to become the next Washington governor, so gun politics in the Evergreen State could get pretty lively over the next 14 months.

Phil Fortunato, a fellow with a devilish sense of humor, has opened his campaign from “the belly of the beast, appearing in downtown Seattle where he focused on that city’s homeless crisis for his opening salvo. It must be noted that in January, Fortunato came right out of the gate with legislation to protect the privacy of Washington’s more than 620,000 concealed pistol license holders. It didn’t become law, but it did raise a few eyebrows in Olympia.

At about the same time, he introduced another bill that made some legislative anti-gunners wince. He wanted to require any lawmaker proposing gun control legislation to first take a firearms safety/training course.

“There’s a little bit of a problem with somebody drafting legislation that doesn’t have the faintest idea at what the heck is going on with guns,” Fortunato said at the time. “It’s a little disturbing to me as a gun owner to have these people, (who) have no idea what they’re talking about, draft gun legislation.”

Washington State Sen. Phil Fortunato has joined the Republican race for governor in 2020. (Photo courtesy Phil Fortunato)

It was a direct swipe at several lawmakers who have historically been at the front of any gun control effort.

Fortunato did a term in the state House of Representatives in 1998-2000, and was elected again 16 years later to the House. However, he moved up quickly, appointed to fill the state Senate seat vacated by then-Sen. Pam Roach, upon her election to the Pierce County Council.

The 65-year-old Fortunato joins Republic Police Chief Loren Culp, who was profiled by Ammoland News last month, on the Republican campaign trail. A third Republican, Anton Sakharov, is also reportedly in the race.

So far, Democrats who may be in the game are Gov. Jay Inslee, whose vanity campaign for president has been lagging, along with liberal Democrat Attorney General Bob Ferguson, King County Executive Dow Constantine and Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz.

Fortunato represents Washington’s 31st Legislative District, and he started hinting at a run way back in March. As the last remaining Republican state senator in King County, he is something unique in a region that has gone decidedly far-left “blue’ politically. But his district is a bit more conservative, with a fair number of blue collar and retired constituents who are alarmed, if not appalled, at how left wing Democrats have allowed the region, and especially Seattle, to allegedly deteriorate.

According to MyNorthwest.com, Fortunato “wants to provide drug rehab, mental health counseling, and housing for everyone on the street who wants it. He also wants to put more money toward incarceration for those on the street who commit crimes.”

“We need to get Seattle cleaned up — we need to send the message that we’re not going to tolerate this kind of behavior,” he said at his campaign launch.

Sen. Fortunato has appeared at Second Amendment rallies on the Washington State Capitol steps in Olympia. (Dave Workman photo)

The white-haired and bearded Fortunato has appeared at pro-Second Amendment rallies on the Capitol steps over the past few years. He is well-known as a staunch advocate, who also has a down-to-earth, common-sense approach to firearms legislation, making sure to concentrate on criminals while trying hard to leave law-abiding gun owners alone.

Interestingly, both Fortunato and Culp were able to hit the political ground running. They have fired-up bases, with the lawman gathering surprising support in Western Washington, and the lawmaker energizing his longtime admirers as well.

There has not been a Republican in the governor’s office in Washington for more than three decades, and a growing number of Evergreen State residents think that’s enough. It is time for a change. Whether that comes from Fortunato or Culp, they’ve got more than enough time to demonstrate to voters how supporting one or the other will be the right move for Washington.


About Dave WorkmanDave Workman

Dave Workman is a senior editor at TheGunMag.com and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

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    WhodatyDave Workmantuska1SupermanNeanderthal75 Recent comment authors
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    Whodaty
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    Whodaty

    Fantastic to have TWO people that are strong 2A supporters running for WA Governor! This can’t but help inject come logic and awareness of the issue into the general WA voters brain. Here’s a short list of things I would like to see the new WA Governor accomplish: 1- Work to create a county based electoral-college system for all state elections and referendums 2- Lead a movement to prohibit Constitutional Rights from being open to referendum votes 3- Pursue legislation overturning any prior legislation creating Constitutional infringements by referendum, ensuring due-process 4- Legislate that CPL holders can purchase or sell… Read more »

    tuska1
    Member
    tuska1

    Good luck to both Fortunato and Culp! It will be a long hard road to win when you factor in the Tacoma/Seattle/Everett corridor. Hopefully they will make things like homelessness, roads, gov gridlock, schools etc as the primary talking points with gun rights being as a secondary point. But do keep in it the disscusion. I would rather that firearm rights be in the top 3 points, but this is WA state, so IMO only, they should stick to moderate talking points for the most part. Even if they do win, there is little that can be done unless R’s… Read more »

    Neanderthal75
    Member
    Neanderthal75

    Dave, I do indeed applaud Your Enthusiasm sir! I was raised a Scoop Jackson Democrat in the sixties, and when I came of age I voted Democrat, back when they were still semi sane! The party then shifted to Pro abortion, seeing all those female votes waiting for them out there, then they went pro-soviet, seeing all the Socialist waiting for them in the halls of Academia, and that was where I decided I and the Democratic party must part ways! The days of Dan Evans and Dixie Lee Ray are long gone and shall never be seen again! We… Read more »

    Superman
    Member
    Superman

    Dan Evans was a member of the GOP. An original RINO.

    ras52
    Member
    ras52

    Good luck to you Phil. Thanks for standing up for gun owners.

    Superman
    Member
    Superman

    Keep on dreaming, Dave. The Dumbocrats have a lock on Olympia. Nothing is going to change that. ‘I can see all the votes I need from the top of the Space Needle’ – Former U.S. Senator ‘Scoop’ Jackson.

    Bowserb46
    Member
    Bowserb46

    Yes, and in Illinois from the [former] Sears Tower, and New York from the Empire State Building, and so on. That’s why we have the Electoral College for presidential elections. It’s too bad some states don’t have a comparable system for governor. If we allow the welfare centers of America get control of state and federal elections, our republic is finished. Just like every democracy in history.

    tomcat
    Member
    tomcat

    @ Bowserb46 I have to correct you, in your last sentence you said: Just like every democracy in history. We repeat it time and time again that we are NOT a democracy, we are a Constitutional Republic. There is a big difference. A democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what to have for dinner.

    Tionico
    Member
    Tionico

    so one can SEE all the votes they need from the Space Needle… but can they GET those votes when push comes to shove? Phil is already right on to one issue that matters a LOT to the folks who have to put up with the Romper Room Seattle has become…… which includes anyone who lives in, works in, or visits Seattle. Recent governors have NOT lifted a finger to effect any signficant change in the issues that affect quality of life and security in Seattle. That town is rumbling in ways I’ve not seen before, and I’ve lived near… Read more »

    Superman
    Member
    Superman

    Just keep dreaming along with Dave. You DO realize Sawant recently won her primary vote in Seattle, correct?