U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert, Western Washington's only Republican congressman, has signed on as state chairman for the presidential bid of...

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OLYMPIA — U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert, Western Washington’s only Republican congressman, has signed on as state chairman for the presidential bid of Rudy Giuliani and will serve as national co-chairman of law enforcement for the former New York mayor.

Giuliani, a moderate Republican who supports abortion rights, announced the appointment in conjunction with a quick visit to the Seattle area Friday. He planned to meet with Microsoft employees who are politically active and then attend an evening fundraising event in Seattle. Both events were private.

Reichert, who has had two tough campaigns — in the 8th Congressional District in Bellevue and the Seattle suburbs — will be an important voice in the national campaign and can help carry Washington’s primary and caucuses for Giuliani, campaign spokesman Elliott Bundy said in an interview.

“There is no candidate quite like Rudy Giuliani,” Bundy said. “He is a person of real accomplishment and leadership, and that will serve him very well in Washington state. Washington voters look more at the candidate than the party.”

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He said Giuliani has shown coast-to-coast strength in many polls, including Washington. Some state legislators, including House Republican Leader Richard DeBolt of Chehalis, also are endorsing him.

Giuliani and Reichert, the former longtime King County sheriff, share a concern for law enforcement and homeland security, as well as support for first responders, Bundy said.

“Congressman Reichert is a leader on homeland-security issues and a committed public servant,” Giuliani said in a statement released by his national headquarters. “He is a valued addition to our campaign.”

Reichert said Giuliani’s experience, leadership and record would serve the country well.

“As someone who has been involved in law enforcement and homeland-security issues for over 35 years, I know Rudy Giuliani will be a tough, determined and principled leader. He transformed New York City into the safest large city in the country and has always shown courage in the face of challenges. He’ll be a true leader for our country.”

At least two competitors for the GOP nomination also are targeting Washington, which has the West’s second-largest bloc of convention delegates and electoral votes after California. Arizona Sen. John McCain, who is supported by Attorney General Rob McKenna and other GOP leaders, did well in the 2000 primary here and has campaigned here this year. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will be in Bellevue next Wednesday for a noon fundraising event.

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