Governor candidate Semi Bird pledges to make Washington affordable

State GOP-endorsed candidate discusses police, schools, gas prices


Washington Republican governor-hopeful Semi Bird believes that big change is needed in the state of Washington, including affordable living and gas, support of police and structure in schools.

The GOP-endorsed candidate for governor also believes the state needs an idealistic leader rather than a career politician.

Following his appearance at Long Shot in Yelm on May 8, Bird was exclusively interviewed by the Nisqually Valley News and spoke on several localized topics including state support for police, schools and more.

“Jay Inslee, nothing personal against you. You’ve doubled our budget, and our roads are garbage. Our schools are not doing well. Crime is out of control. Bob Ferguson, you’re the chief law enforcement officer. Crime is worse than it has ever been in the history of this state,” Bird said. “Dave Reichert, you’re another career politician. You supported capping trade. You praised Jay Inslee’s response to COVID, which led to a shutdown of our schools, the loss of student lives from depression, anxiety, suicide, lost learning, breakdown of our education.

“We need something different,” Bird continued. “We need a new direction. We need someone with the resume, knowledge, skills and ability to take our state in a new direction. No more career politicians. We’re saying no to the status quo.”

Bird said people can refer to him as being idealistic, but he believes idealists and visionaries are needed in leadership again. He said the state needs a leader that represents everyone and someone who has a higher standard and bar to work toward as a goal.

“The most marginalized of us, those who can’t represent themselves, those who have been forgotten, and those who feel they don’t matter as much as others, they’re just as important as anyone else,” Bird said. “We all matter. That’s what I want to represent with my election, my candidacy. Anybody and everybody matters in Washington state.”


Law and Order

Bird believes that Washington has a big issue with lawlessness, which is an issue he said burdens law enforcement officers and the courtroom. If elected, Bird said that laws will once again be enforced throughout the state by all police agencies.

“We have to look at the root cause. We’re not enforcing our laws, and when you don’t enforce your laws, you get criminals taking advantage of that and committing more crimes, which puts a burden on law enforcement agencies. That’s what I would propose. I would propose that we start with holding those prosecutors and judges accountable for doing their jobs and enforcing the laws, backing up our law enforcement professionals so that when they actually execute an arrest and bring those criminals before the courts and let the courts do their jobs,” Bird said. “The attorney general (Bob Ferguson) would sue an automaker instead of enforcing auto theft crimes. That doesn’t stop people from stealing cars. Stopping people from stealing cars stops people from stealing cars, actually holding criminals accountable.”

Restoring law and order starts with the state Legislature passing laws to hold criminals accountable, Bird said. Recently, the Legislature passed Initiative 2113, which restored police pursuits. Bird said that’s an example of legislation that supports law enforcement agencies.

“It’s about time we did that and gave police officers the support they need, just so they can do their job,” Bird said. “The first big step for the governor to do would be to declare through a resolution and proclamation that the highest office of this state supports law enforcement, unequivocally.”

Bird added the proclamation would declare that law enforcement officers in the state of Washington could “do their job without fear of losing their lives and livelihoods.”

If elected, Bird plans to implement intelligence surveillance reconnaissance strategies and technology into the field of law enforcement. He believes the future of law enforcement is with drone technology.

“I will be proposing, starting with the Washington State Patrol, bringing forth support and funding for advanced drone technology,” Bird said. “Once that demonstrates its success, which it will be successful, we offer and support grant funding for all county and municipal departments throughout the state to bring in funding for drone support.”

Through the usage of drones, Bird said police drone operators would be able to cover territory that on-foot officers or sheriffs cannot.

“It’s something to be looked at. It’s something that’s already had success,” Bird said. “Bringing forth drone technology will start with the state patrol, and then we’d bring it throughout the state of Washington to enhance and support our law enforcement officers on the ground.”



Bird is a big supporter of Initiative 2117, which if passed, will prohibit state agencies from implementing a cap and trade, or cap and tax program and repealing the state’s Climate Commitment Act. This initiative will be featured on ballots in November’s election.

Bird said the Climate Commitment Act is responsible for raising gas prices throughout Washington.

“People need to recognize that when you start talking about this removal of all carbon-producing mechanisms, vehicles, leaf blowers, lawn mowers, everything, it has consequences,” Bird said. “That’s what the carbon commitment act did. It raised gas prices 50 cents per gallon, diesel prices 60 cents per gallon. That’s been proven. By getting rid of this Climate Commitment Act, it’ll lower prices.”

He added that the state of Washington has had gas-related taxes for years and funds collected were supposed to fix the roads.

“Look at how bad our roads are. That wasn’t doing it. That goes to prove the mismanagement of our state budget finances and mismanagement all together,” Bird said. “Our gas taxes should be just as low as Idaho. It makes no sense. We should be just as competitive on gasoline as Idaho. We’re going to be more efficient, more effective with how we run our government.”

Bird said once the Climate Commitment Act is dissolved via Initiative 2117, he’d propose a third-party audit of all state programs and offices, if elected. The audit results would provide Bird  with a “baseline understanding” of what he anticipates is billions of dollars wasted in mismanagement by the Washington state government.

Once the audit is complete, Bird said the state can begin operating more effectively, efficiently and frugally with taxpayer money.

“We have a very beautiful state. Our tourism should enrich us. Bringing energy independence, small and nuclear portable modular reactors. That would give us the energy, on top of hydroelectricity which is already 65% of all of our electricity,” Bird said. “There’s no reason to raise gas prices or even electric utility bills. We should make Washington state more affordable to live in, and I plan on doing it. I will do it.”



Bird is a fan of local control and feels it’s a violation when the state government over-reaches into a county or city government, but also knows that the state government, under Article IX of the Washington State Constitution, is required to ensure that all students in the state receive a quality education.

“When you have education as the No. 1 budget item of the state, which is approximately 44% of the state budget, I have to intervene,” Bird said. “I’d have an opportunity as governor to appoint seven members of the board of education. I intend on doing so because I want members of that board to understand that wex need to shift focus towards ensuring our school districts throughout the state focus on academic excellence.

“What I would assert, levies for No. 1, why is the state funding not meeting the requirement when we spend billions of dollars?” Bird asked. “Again, the No. 1 budget item, why is it an issue at a school district level that a school district still needs to burden taxpayers for levy dollars? Why aren’t the billions of dollars from taxpayers that the state is already spending enough money? I think the focus needs to be shifted, and that accountability needs to be brought into school districts.”

If elected, Bird plans to propose an educational reform to require school districts to create strategic plans. Each plan would require a focus that starts in the classroom and focuses on the students, teachers and families. Each plan would have key performance indicators that point toward efficiency.

“From the classroom up, which means the center of gravity, the center of focus of that strategic plan for the school district, starts there, and all the support mechanisms from up comes down to there. That’s the center of focus,” Bird said. “I believe that if schools were not functioning so poorly, and their average performance rate was in the 60s or 70s, that bonds and levies would be passing at a much-higher rate.”