State Sen. Phil Fortunato, King County's 'only elected Republican,' is running for governor

SEATTLE -- State Sen. Fortunato, an Auburn Republican and self-described as "the only elected Republican in King County," is running for governor.

Fortunato said he's making the official announcement Wednesday on the steps of Seattle City Hall, or as he calls it, "the belly of the beast."

"My platform is simple: focus on areas where state government can be most effective," Fortunato said on his campaign website. "We won’t solve our problems with more regulations or taxes on employment, your income, what you buy. We’ve been doing a great deal of that for decades and are living with the results."

He told Q13 that he's waiting until Wednesday to announce because it's a day after the Aug. 6 primary election, and there are several Seattle City Council seats on the ballot. If primary voters favor more centrist candidates, that could increase his chances in securing the state's highest office, he said.

Fortunato said his decision to run stems from a Facebook post alleging he could beat state Attorney General Bob Ferguson in a statewide race. Ferguson is considered a Democratic front runner in the governor's race if Gov. Jay Inslee decides not to seek re-election.

Inslee, who's running for president, has not announced yet whether he will vie for a third term.

If Fortunato can get 32 percent of the vote in Seattle, he believes he can win the state, he said.