Democratic Ex-Governors Endorse GOP Candidate Over Police Abolitionist

Two former Democratic governors for Washington state have endorsed the Republican candidate running for Seattle city attorney against a Democrat-backed candidate who supports "abolition" of the police.

Former governors Christine Gregoire and Gary Locke jointly endorsed Ann Davison in the attorney's race in a statement on Tuesday, criticizing rival candidate Nicole Thomas-Kennedy.

Though the Seattle city attorney's race is nonpartisan, Davison identifies as a Republican and local Democratic groups have backed Thomas-Kennedy, putting them at odds with the former governors.

Thomas-Kennedy has also faced criticism for controversial past tweets about the police, including one saying: "Eat some covid laced sh*t and quit ur jobs."

The tweet was later deleted and Thomas-Kennedy has called controversy about her tweets "a distraction."

In their joint statement, Locke and Gregoire said: "Now more than ever we need pragmatic city leaders who understand the challenges our city is facing and that will get Seattle back on track."

They said Thomas-Kennedy's policies "would make the people of Seattle less safe and put our neighborhoods more at risk."

Thomas-Kennedy has said she plans to abolish the police and jails and has also said she will not prosecute most misdemeanors if elected. These policies and her statements about the police have been the focus of criticism. Thomas-Kennedy has previously referred to police as "crybabies" and "serial killers." She had also called property destruction a "moral imperative."

Gregoire, who was governor of Washington from 2005 to 2013, spoke to Fox 13 about her decision to endorse Davison over Thomas-Kennedy on Tuesday and made reference to the tweets.

"The city of Seattle is probably without question the most progressive city in the state of Washington, and with that comes progressive idealism that I respect, to be perfectly honest with you," Gregoire said.

"What I can't let go by is a person who believes in anarchy": Former Governor Christine Gregoire (D) endorses Republican @NeighborsForAnn in critical Seattle City Attorney race, rails against long list of troubling tweets from abolitionist @ntkallday. More on #FOX13 at 4/5pm. pic.twitter.com/T6YnHoAq0y

— Brandi Kruse (@BrandiKruse) September 28, 2021

"What I can't sit there and let go by is a person who believes in anarchy and that property destruction is a moral imperative and that all police officers are serial killers, that the United States Supreme Court is illegitimate and who hates our country."

"That, I think is a pivotal moment in the future of Seattle, where we have to get the right person at the helm, and I think Ann is the right person," she said.

Thomas-Kennedy has defended her stance on police abolition. In a Twitter thread from September 20 pinned to her account, she wrote: "Been seeing a handful of people say that abolition is about making everything legal and making all victims suck it up. Whether said out of ignorance or to pander to fear, it's just not true."

"Abolition does NOT ask people to forgo safety or overlook harm done to them by vulnerable people in the interest of 'compassion.' Abolition is a lens, a process, and a goal - and it recognizes that we all affect each other," she said.

Newsweek has asked the Thomas-Kennedy campaign for comment.

Former Governor Christine Gregoire Pictured in 2012
Washington State Governor Chris Gregoire, center, celebrates, with State Rep. Jaime Petersen, far left, State Senator, far right, after signing marriage equality legislation into law February 13, 2012 at the state capitol in Olympia, Washington. Gregoire has endorsed a Republican candidate for Seattle city attorney. Stephen Brashear/Getty Images