Lost in all the hoopla over the Legislature’s vote to exempt itself from the Public Records
Act and the drama over its repeal, State Rep. Jay Rodne (R-5th) announced Feb. 28 he won’t run for reelection.
Rodne vote for the exemption. He was nearly defeated in 2016 by Jason Ritchie, a Democrat who lives in the Klahanie neighborhood in Sammamish. Ritchie led Rodne on election night but the tide turned as votes were counted, and Rodne won reelection narrowly.
Ritchie ran the next year for Sammamish City Council and won.
From thought conservative to bigoted zealot
Rodne was first elected in 2004. A former Marine who served in the Middle East, Rodne gained a reputation as a thoughtful conservative.
But in 2016, the year Donald Trump ran for president and upended politics with his race-baiting, anti-Muslim, arm-all-Americans campaign, Rodne changed.
In a Facebook tirade, in his own words that he later claimed were taken out of context, Rodne aligned himself with Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric and called on people to go get guns.
At the time, Ben Yazici, a Muslim, was city manager of Sammamish and Rodne represented Muslims who live in Sammamish and elsewhere in the district.
He lost the endorsement of the Seattle Times, which had supported every election.
The 5th District includes the Greater Klahanie area.
Update, 1:50 pm: Ritchie provided this statement to The Comment:
I have no plans to run for the state legislature currently. I look forward to serving in the City Council over the next four years. I’m confident that either of the two announced candidates, Chad Magendanz or Bill Ramos, will provide a balanced approach to state legislation. I’ve spoken at length with both Bill and Chad about Sammamish. Given their previous municipal experience, Sammamish and the Eastside wins, whomever prevails this fall.