Matthew Marshall, a founding member of the Washington state Three Percenters and an Eatonville school board director, announced his candidacy for 2nd Legislative District representative, Position 2, at a gun rights rally in Olympia on Friday, Jan. 17.
The unincorporated Pierce County resident announced his intent to defeat House Minority Leader State Rep. J.T. Wilcox, R-Yelm, during the gun rights rally held at the state capitol that drew hundreds of supporters from across the state, including 4th Legislative District Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley.
Many who attended the rally held signs in support of Shea, who was removed from the Republican Caucus after a private investigation alleged he was involved with the planning and coordination of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge armed standoff that put law enforcement officials in danger.
Marshall’s discontent with Wilcox comes after the minority leader led calls for Shea to step down after a report commissioned by the House found that he took part in “domestic terrorism.”
“Mark Twain said it great: ‘Politicians are like diapers, they should be changed regularly and for the same reason,’” Marshall said near the steps of the capitol shortly before making his announcement.
The movement to get the controversial lawmaker to step down has received support from both sides of the aisle, but Shea has found support in right-wing circles such as the Three Percenters.
Marshall demanded due process for Shea and attacked the credibility of the investigative report that claimed Shea was a “domestic terrorist.” According to Marshall, Shea’s only involvement in the standoff was to coordinate peace.
“Like all of you, I am disgusted with the treatment of Matt Shea,” said Marshall, who plans to run as a Republican. “Matt did not conform to party leadership when he was demanded, and he isn’t a yes-man.”
Marshall described the efforts against Shea as a “bipartisan, multi-year political hit job.”
The Three Percenters are an open-forum, far-right citizens movement that advocates for constitutional freedoms with emphasis on Second Amendment rights.
Members of the Three Percenters most recently clashed with members of the Anti-Fascist movement at a protest two weeks ago in Seattle.
The 2nd District hopeful was also a leader, alongside Yelm resident Scott Bannister, in an effort to recall Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson. According to reports from MyNorthwest.com, a King County judge ruled against the recall effort.
Bannister and Marshall claimed that Ferguson was using his office to push support for the controversial gun control measure I-1639, which was approved by voters in 2018.
During the rally on Friday, Marshall also claimed he received a phone call from the FBI after he and a rag-tag group of revolutionists met in Yelm last October to plan a citizen’s arrest on Ferguson.
That meeting was chronicled in a story (https://bit.ly/36rqh0p) by the Seattle Times and a subsequent editorial that was critical of County Commissioner Gary Edwards and Thurston County Sheriff John Snaza for participating in it. (Read the editorial here: https://bit.ly/2Rq4MJe)
At the meeting, Edwards and Snaza were not supportive of the idea of a citizens arrest and urged restraint on behalf of the attendees, according to The Seattle Times, which reported that "Snaza and Edwards urged those gathered to have patience and to not take matters into their own hands."
If elected, Marshall said he plans to “drain the Evergreen swamp.” He also said he plans on focusing on three guiding principles; to obey the Constitution, represent the people of the 2nd Legislative District and do what is ethical.
“I will always advocate for decreased regulation, decreased taxes, improved transparency, fiscal responsibility and all Constitutional rights,” Marshall states on his campaign website.
This story was updated Jan. 24, 2020, to clarify the The Seattle Times' coverage of Commissioner Gary Edwards and Sheriff John Snaza at a meeting in Yelm where the potential citizen arrest of Attorney General Bob Ferguson was discussed.