Chris Christie rallies GOP faithful in Everett

EVERETT — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie delivered a pep talk to Republican Party volunteers in Everett on Thursday, saying the phone calls they make and the doors they knock on in the next month are critically important to getting Rob McKenna elected governor.

“The way we’re going to win this election is all you,” Christie told roughly 175 people packed into the party’s Victory Center downstairs from Shawn O’Donnell’s restaurant, a leading GOP watering hole.

Christie and McKenna dropped by the GOP office shortly before 4 p.m. on their way to a private $150-a-person fundraiser at the Embassy Suites in Lynnwood. Earlier in the day, the two visited volunteers in Kennewick for a similarly priced private event.

When they arrived in Everett, they were greeted by Snohomish County Councilman John Koster, a Republican candidate for Congress, while outside a handful of sign-waving Democrats stood on the sidewalk next to the parking lot driveway.

A jacketless Christie said as much as donors’ checks are appreciated, volunteers are doing invaluable work because they are delivering McKenna’s message directly to thousands of voters.

He called them the “more powerful weapon” in politics, “even more powerful than a warm and charming automated phone call” from a guy like him.

Cathy Hawn, 65, of Edmonds took a break from phoning voters and squeezed into the room where Christie spoke for roughly 10 minutes.

“He’s a good man. He’s doing lots of stuff in his state that I hope we can do in this one,” she said after returning to the call center where she comes twice a week for up to six hours each time. “It’s absolutely important to be involved.”

Gunner Unneland, 81, of Edmonds, doesn’t work the phones. Instead he spends 10 to 12 hours a week knocking on doors and handing out campaign material for Republican candidates, including McKenna and Koster.

The native of Norway said Christie, whom he has seen on television, was more impressive in person. Unneland said he appreciated the New Jersey leader’s kudos and is motivated to do what he can this election “because I think we’re heading toward socialism.”

“I’ve lived under socialism and dictatorships in Norway,” he said. “It’s very critical to turn this country around because we’re heading toward insolvency.”

Thursday marked Christie’s second visit to Washington to stump for McKenna. He headlined a Republican event in Bellevue two days after the Aug. 7 primary in which McKenna, won is in his second term as attorney general, lost to the Democratic candidate, former Congressman Jay Inslee.

Christie praised McKenna on Thursday as a man of integrity and character who will be able to work collaboratively with Democrats.

Voters are tired of the scene in Congress where members are “posturing, posing and worrying about the next press release.”

Inslee, Christie said, is a “creature of Washington, D.C. Do you really want to bring Washington, D.C., politics to the state Capitol?”

The state Democratic Party issued a statement by state Rep. Marko Liias, D-Edmonds, criticizing Christie and McKenna for opposing Washington’s gay marriage law. Liias noted that Christie vetoed a marriage equality bill this year.

“Washington needs a governor who believes in equality for all Washingtonians, and Rob McKenna, based on his stated positions and his national friends, clearly would not be that governor,” Liias said.

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; jcornfield@heraldnet.com

Talk to us

More in Local News

A wanted suspect was arrested after a standoff with law enforcement Tuesday night. (Bothell Police Department)
Kidnapping suspect arrested after standoff in Bothell

A large police presence contained the property in the 20500 block of 32nd Dr. SE on Tuesday night.

Community Transit's Lynnwood microtransit pilot project is set to launch this fall with a service area around the Alderwood mall. (Community Transit)
Lynnwood’s microtransit test begins this fall, others possible

Community Transit could launch other on-demand services in Arlington, Darrington and Lake Stevens.

Doctor Thomas Robey sits in a courtyard at Providence Regional Medical Center on Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
‘It’d be a miracle’: Providence tests new treatment for meth addiction

Monoclonal antibodies could lead to the first drug designed to fight meth addiction. Everett was chosen due to its high meth use.

Rev. Barbara Raspberry, dressed in her go-to officiating garments, sits in the indoor chapel at her home, the Purple Wedding Chapel, on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022, in Everett, Washington. The space used to be two bedrooms, but she and her husband Don took down a wall converted them into a room for wedding ceremonies the day after their youngest son moved out over 20 years ago. The room can seat about 20 for in-person ceremonies, plus it serves as a changing room for brides and is the setting for virtual weddings that Raspberry officiates between brides and their incarcerated fiancees at the Monroe Correctional Complex. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Everett’s oh-so-colorful Purple Wedding Chapel is in the red

Rev. Rasberry has hitched hundreds of couples over the years. After her husband died, she’s unsure if she can keep the place.

Everett
Man dies in motorcycle crash that snarled I-5 in Everett

Washington State Patrol: he tried to speed by another driver but lost control and hit the shoulder barrier.

The Days Inn on Everett Mall Way, which Snohomish County is set to purchase and convert into emergency housing, is seen Monday, Aug. 8, 2022, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
County OKs hotel-shelter purchases, won’t require drug treatment

Snohomish County Councilmember Nate Nehring efforts failed to delay the vote and failed to require residents to get addiction treatment.

In a nearly empty maternity wing, Chief Administrative Officer Renée Jensen talks about how it has been almost nine years since east-county mothers could give birth at EvergreenHealth Monroe on Monday, April 1, 2019 in Monroe, Wash. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
EvergreenHealth Monroe seeks Community Advisors to guide services

Applications for the volunteer positions are due by Sept. 16.

Arlington
1 dead in fire at Arlington RV park

Authorities believe the fatal fire early Wednesday was an accident.

Patrick Diller, head of community partnerships for Pallet, discusses the Pallet Shelter Pilot Project last June in Everett. (Katie Hayes / Herald file) June 29, 2021
State laws prompt changes in Everett city rules for shelters

The city is considering revisions to issue permits more quickly for emergency shelters.

Most Read