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Semi Bird: ‘I’m not a fan of the status quo’

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(The Center Square) – Washington state Republicans will have at least two choices on the primary ballot.

One is retired Congressman Dave Reichert, also a former elected King County Sheriff.

The other is Misipati “Semi” Bird, running out of his home base in the Tri-Cities of eastern Washington. Bird was Director of Organizational Development for the Dept. of Energy at Hanford, retiring as Director of Training and Leadership Development. Bird then operated a Kennewick-based consulting business, Team Concepts Training Services LLC, until it was administratively dissolved in January 2024.

Bird is a compelling speaker, especially when telling his life story. “Poverty can incite you to excellence and push you to drive for success,” said Bird in a recent Zoom interview. “I’m an employee applying for a job, and the citizens of WA state are the interview panel.” He encouraged voters to focus on his resume, saying, “They’ll see my skill sets. I have a graduate degree and I’m finishing my Ph.D., not that paper education is better than anything else.”

According to his website, Bird completed a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Columbia Southern University and a master’s degree in human resource development from Villanova University. The website also says he is “approaching his Ph.D. candidacy at Northcentral University.”

However, Northcentral University was absorbed into National University, another virtual institution, in 2022. In response to an emailed question for clarification, Bird responded through his Communications Director, Nick Cochran, saying, “I attended Northcentral University. I have placed my academic goals on hold and no longer attend. I will resume my program once time and life allow for it.”

Bird lists key issues for the state as “first and foremost out of control lawlessness, out of control homelessness,” followed by the economy and education. “Our economy is not what it seems to be. You’ll have economists say there’s a positive trend but we have bad policy and laws in Washington state that overregulate our small businesses, our growers and ranchers.” He emphasized the need to stop wasteful spending. “We’ve doubled the budget and there’s no accountability.”

His current campaign schedule is focused on western Washington, although he said he may be back in the Spokane area prior to the Washington State Republican Convention for a training event with teachers and administrators. “I am retired from private business and continue to utilize my knowledge and experience to facilitate events that will lead to education excellence in Washington state,” said Bird in a follow-up email.

Bird was elected to the Richland School Board for a two-year term in November 2021. He failed to survive a recall election in August 2023.

Reichert won his first election in 2001 as King County Sheriff after being appointed in 1997. Reichert went on to represent the 8th Congressional District in Congress for 14 years. The 8th included portions of King and Pierce counties on the west side and later picked up Kittitas and Chelan counties east of the mountains after the 2011 redistricting.

The state GOP convention is set for April 19-20 in Spokane. For the first time in living memory, the Washington State Republican Party is planning an endorsement process at the convention.

According to an email exchange with Brady Batt, Executive Director, candidate-related materials for seeking an endorsement will not be distributed to delegates at the convention until April 12. “It’s an ongoing process for all statewide offices and all ten congressional districts. It wouldn’t be accurate to list which candidates have or have not acted on certain steps of the endorsement-seeking process at this time.”

Falling one month prior to candidate filing week in May, the endorsement convention may change the final field in some races.

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