MOSES LAKE — Tim Eyman doesn’t care how he looks as he runs for governor.
“My role is not to be well liked or well thought of, that’s not the role of an activist,” Eyman said during a campaign stop in Moses Lake on Tuesday. “We learned from the president when he ran in 2016 that it’s not always pretty when you attack your opponent. You don’t always look good.”
All Eyman promised his audience of roughly three dozen in the Moses Lake Civic Center Park was “a knock-down, drag-out fight” against Gov. Jay Inslee about policy “that you’re going to enjoy watching.”
“Politics is a dirty, disgusting kind of snake pit, and I love it,” Eyman added. “I love everything about it.”
Eyman is the head of the taxpayer group Permanent Offense and is best known as the force behind the $30 car tab (most recently passed by voters last fall). He is one of a gaggle of Republicans running in the August primary to challenge Inslee in November as the incumbent governor seeks a third term.
“Nobody’s going to hire me until they are willing to fire him,” Eyman said of Inslee. “If you pick me, you’re going to be picking a battle-tested fighter that’s been fighting for you for 22 years.”
Born and raised in Yakima, Eyman was adopted, as was his adoptive father, and he and his wife have adopted three kids of their own. He said all of this makes him passionately pro-life, and he believes that adoption should be an easier option.
“There is no such thing as an accidental adoption,” he said.
Eyman said he got involved in politics in the late 1990s when he was living in Green Lake when local voters rejected a new stadium to replace the Kingdome only to be overruled by the local elected officials.
Since then, Eyman has been active full time, backing initiatives and referenda that he says have saved state taxpayers $43 billion. He most recently helped back efforts to put the state’s new comprehensive sex ed requirements up for a popular vote.
Eyman was also very critical of Inslee’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic response, describing the governor as “arrogant” and “power-hungry” and not having the authority under the state or federal constitutions to determine which businesses were essential or nonessential or to shut down the state.