Conservative talk radio icon Kirby Wilbur, who has filled in occasionally for Sean Hannity and was also chair of the Washington State Republican Party following his departure from KVI-AM in November 2009, will be returning to that station on Jan. 4, the station revealed today.
A staunch pro-gun-rights conservative, Wilbur has spent the past six years a busy fellow. After his stint as the GOP state chair, he moved to Virginia where he worked with young journalism students at the National Journalism Center. He has occasionally done fill-in on the air, including a three-day fill-in last week for KVI’s John Carlson.
Wilbur’s departure from KVI was under previous management, and it was not a happy one for Puget Sound conservatives. During more than a decade with the station – a pioneer station in conservative talk radio – Wilbur earned a reputation for holding liberals accountable for failed policies and programs.
He was and remains particularly pro-Second Amendment, having served on the board of the Second Amendment Foundation, a leading national gun rights organization based in Bellevue, located east of Seattle across Lake Washington.
During his years as the morning drive-time host at KVI, Wilbur was a leading voice for conservative politics in a city that many feel has tilted so far to the extreme left that it needs “adult supervision.”
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Ten years ago, Wilbur and his colleague, John Carlson, became the targets of a controversial legal action because of their involvement in a public initiative to overturn a hike in the gasoline tax.
That case led to a unanimous ruling by the State Supreme Court in their favor in April 2007 that reversed a lower court ruling and stunned pro-tax liberals who, many believe, were just as interested in silencing the pair as they were in boosting the state’s gas tax.
Wilbur, a strong advocate of concealed carry for personal protection, returns at a time when concealed pistol licenses have surged in the Evergreen State, according to figures from the state Department of Licensing. More than a half-million active Washington CPLs are now in circulation.
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