Four WA Republican state senators create ‘Freedom Caucus’

Four Washington State GOP lawmakers have launched what they call the “Freedom Caucus” n Olympia. (Dave Workman)

A quartet of conservative Republican state senators in Washington State has launched what they are calling the “Freedom Caucus,” and one of the founding members—Sen. Doug Ericksen of Ferndale—said the group will focus on protecting liberty and freedom.

Erickson is joined by Senators Phil Fortunato of Auburn, Mike Padden from Spokane Valley and Jim McCune of Graham.

According to KPQ News, Ericksen explained the new caucus as something more than a “subset” of the Senate Republican caucus.

“It’s a Freedom Caucus with a freedom agenda and a big tent,” Ericksen told a reporter. “There’s room in this tent for libertarians, there’s room in this tent for moderates, there’s room in this tent for … people who are fiscally conservative or socially conservative.”

Fortunato, a one-time candidate for governor, told the Daily Olympian, “We want like-minded people that are preserving people’s rights and liberty and stick up for the constitutional rights.”

While this may be a development unique to Washington State, it could spread, possibly across the Columbia River to neighboring Oregon, where Republicans are also outnumbered by far-left Democrats. In Washington, the Seattle Democrat delegation often dominates capitol politics, while in Oregon, Democrats from the greater Portland area often guide the agenda. Both states also have liberal Democrat governors.

However, outside of the I-5 corridor in both states, conservative voters may warm up to the idea of a “Freedom Caucus.”

In the Evergreen State, Ericksen told the Olympian that he and his colleagues formed the new group because the Republican caucuses in the House and Senate wouldn’t call for a special session to challenge the power being wielded by far-left Gov. Jay Inslee during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Inslee is now slowly allowing businesses and schools in some counties to re-open, but critics have been quick to assert this is a political move.

McCune was quoted by the Olympian observing, “It is a scary agenda that is being presented in Olympia, and we need to get the message out to people far and wide that this is … not a good situation for people in the state of Washington and the Freedom Caucus is ready to fight.”

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