David George Reichert (born August 29, 1950) is the U.S. Representative for Washington's 8th congressional district, serving since 2005. He is a member of the Republican Party. He previously served as Sheriff of King County, Washington.
Early life, education and career
Reichert was born in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, the oldest of seven children and grandson of the town marshal. His family moved to Washington State in 1951 living first in Renton, Washington, and later moving to Kent, where he attended Kent Meridian High School. He graduated in 1968 and went on to Concordia Lutheran College in Portland, Oregon on a small football scholarship, where he earned an A.A.
in Social Work in 1970.
In 1971, he joined the Air Force Reserves's 939th Military Airlift Group. He saw six months of active duty at Lackland AFB, Texas, Chanute AFB, Ill., and McChord AFB, Wash., from 1971 to 1976.
Law enforcement career
Reichert served with the King County Sheriff's Department beginning in 1972. He was a SWAT Commander, Commander-Hostage Negotiation, Commander-Bomb Disposal Unit, Commander-Traffic Unit, and an Acting Commander-Internal Investigations. Reichert was a leading member of the Green River Task Force, which was formed to track down the so-called "Green River Killer." DNA evidence eventually identified Gary Leon Ridgway as the Green River Killer in 2001. Ridgway was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the Green River murders.
In 1997 he was appointed Sheriff of King County, Washington by King County Executive Ron Sims.
In 2001, he ran unopposed for a second four year term. A widely rebroadcast event during the Seattle World Trade Organization conference and protests showed Sheriff Reichert chasing rioters down 3rd Avenue in Seattle.
Reichert served as president of the Washington State Sheriffs’ Association.
Reichert is an executive board member of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs.
In 2009, Reichert became an Honorary Board Member of the Seattle-based non-profit The Borgen Project, an organization that advocates global poverty legislation.
Reichert was one of the more notable members of the Green River killer task force.
Reichert won the 2004 National Sheriffs' Association's Sheriff of the Year award, two valor awards and the Washington State Atty. General's Award for courageous action.
The non-fiction book "Chasing the Devil: My Twenty-Year Quest to Capture the Green River Killer", published in July 2004, chronicles his greatest accomplishment as sheriff.
U.S. House of Representatives
Reichert has been described as a moderate Republican when he co-sponsors legislation and he generally votes with the other members of the Republican party when he is present to vote.
Reichert was a member of the following committees: House Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Intelligence Information Sharing and Terrorism Risk Assessment, Subcommittee Management Integration and Oversight, House Committee on Science, Subcommittee on Energy, Subcommittee on Research, Subcommittee on Environment Technology and Standards, House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, Subcommittee on Highways Transit and Pipelines. In September 2005, he was appointed chairman for the Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Science and Technology, a subcommittee within the Homeland Security Committee.
Reichert was a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, the Subcommittee on Border Maritime and Global Counter-terrorism, and the Ranking Minority Member on the Subcommittee on Intelligence Information Sharing and Terrorism Risk Assessment.
He was a member of the House Committee on Science and Technology. Also, he was a member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, with membership on the Subcommittee on Aviation and Subcommittee on Highways and Transit.
- Committee on Ways and Means
- Subcommittee on Trade
- Subcommittee on Oversight
- Subcommittee on Social Security
Reichert voted against the stimulus and healthcare reform bills. He also was one of eight Republicans to vote for carbon emissions caps. Reichert was one of fifteen Republican House members to vote in favor of repealing the United States military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" ban on openly gay service members. Reichert is a member of the centrist Republican Main Street Partnership.
Balanced Budget Amendment and Debt Ceiling Debate
Reichert has generally voted with the Republican caucus on issues related to the federal budget, including bills related to the debt ceiling.
While he was not present at the vote on the Paul Ryan Budget, he intended to vote for it but was in Washington state for the death of his mother. However, he did vote for the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act and the Budget Control Act of 2011. Both the Budget Control Act of 2011 and Cut, Cap, and Balance Act required Congress to pass a balanced budget amendment to facilitate raising the United States' debt ceiling. This position was supported primarily by Republicans and opposed by Democrats. In the final vote to lift the debt ceiling until 2013, Reichert voted with the Republican majority to increase the debt limit.
Reichert has signed the Americans for Tax Reform Taxpayer Protection Pledge advocated by Grover Norquist which commits the signer to vote against any bill that raises taxes or eliminates loopholes in the tax law.
In 2004 Reichert ran for Congress.
In the Republican primary debate, he walked out due to other Republican primary candidates not adhering to the Republican 11th commandment.
Reichert defeated his Democratic opponent, well known KIRO talk show host Dave Ross in the 2004 Congressional elections, 51 percent to 46 percent. He replaced retiring Republican representative Jennifer Dunn. At the same time, Democrat John Kerry won, 51 percent to 48 percent, against President George W. Bush in the 8th district. That made Reichert one of just 17 House Republicans elected in a district that went Democratic for president.
ARMPAC, one of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's political action committees, donated $20,000 to Reichert's election campaign. Since DeLay's 2005 indictment then subsequent dismissal of conspiracy charges, some Democrats urged Reichert to return or donate the money but Reichert has not done so.
Dave Reichert faced Democrat Darcy Burner in November 2006; he was re-elected with 51% of the vote.
In a repeat of the 2006 election matchup, Rep. Dave Reichert faced Democrat Darcy Burner. Dave Reichert won the general election with 53% of the vote to Darcy Burner's 47%.
Reichert was challenged by Democrat Suzan DelBene. He won re-election with 52% of the vote.
Reichert is married to Julie, whom he met in college. Together, the Reicherts currently live in Auburn and have three grown children, Angela, Tabitha, and Daniel, and six grandchildren. Reichert is a Missouri Synod Lutheran.
Following an injury where Reichert was hit in the head with a tree branch, he developed a subdural hematoma and required emergency surgery on March 24, 2010. In the October 20, 2010 issue of Seattle alternative weekly newspaper The Stranger there is a piece speculating that some of Reichert's lapses of memory could be caused by the subdural hematoma.
March 12, 2012