Tim Eyman Promises ‘Aggressive’ Run For Governor, Switches From Independent To Republican Bid

Tim Eyman addresses a crowd of supporters in his home town of Yakima Wednesday, Feb. 12. He announced he’s running for governor of Washington as a Republican, not an independent, as he previously said in November. CREDIT: Enrique Pérez de la Rosa/NWPB
Tim Eyman addresses a crowd of supporters in his home town of Yakima Wednesday, Feb. 12. He announced he’s running for governor of Washington as a Republican, not an independent, as he previously said in November. CREDIT: Enrique Pérez de la Rosa/NWPB

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Anti-tax activist Tim Eyman announced his bid for Washington Governor in November as an independent. But Wednesday, in his home town of Yakima, he announced he’s now running as a Republican.

The announcement was met with jubilant cheers from supporters at a campaign event at Yakima’s McCormick Air Center. Eyman said he initially considered running as an independent because initiatives he sponsored in the past — from $30 car-tabs to a ban on affirmative action in 1998 — were nonpartisan. 

“Every issue that I have proposed has nothing to do with party no matter how much the media or the Democrats ended up trying to make it that,” Eyman said in a speech to supporters. “I always ask voters to consider these issues on the merits and not to divide ourselves by party.”

Eyman gave credit to the “grassroots of the Republican party” for supporting his initiatives and said traditional Republican values of lower taxes and limited government align with his own value system, “a heck of a lot more than the Democratic Party,” Eyman said to the crowd.

“On the other side, you seem to have people that find books by Karl Marx more impressive than our Constitution,” Eyman said, referencing the author of the Communist Manifesto. “They want to re-engineer our society, rewrite our history, and divide us by skin color, by gender, and by income. They want to put a tax man in your wallet and a bureaucrat on your front lawn and make your God-given individual liberty something doled out at their discretion.”

But Eyman made it clear to supporters that he is not a traditional Republican candidate.

“People that have run against the Democrats all have one thing in common: they’re good, decent people that are incredibly polite, incredibly respectful and that hasn’t worked out so well,” Eyman said in an interview with NWPB. “Clearly, I’ve made it clear I’m going to be a very, very aggressive candidate when it comes to running against (current governor) Jay Inslee.”

Tim Eyman poses for photos with supporters after a campaign event in Yakima where he announced his run for governor as a Republican, but maintaining anti-establishment persona. CREDIT: Enrique Pérez de la Rosa/NWPB

Tim Eyman poses for photos with supporters after a campaign event in Yakima where he announced his run for governor as a Republican, but maintaining anti-establishment persona. CREDIT: Enrique Pérez de la Rosa/NWPB

Eyman went toe-to-toe with Inslee in January at an Associated Press preview day of the 2020 legislative session. When the city of Seattle announced their lawsuit against I-976, arguing the $30 car tabs initiative approved by voters in November is unconstitutional, Eyman crashed the press conference and was