Snohomish Co. Sheriff says recall effort against him is ‘ridiculous’

VIDEO: Snohomish Co. Sheriff says recall effort against him is 'ridiculous'

EVERETT, Wash. — During a rally against Gov. Jay Inslee’s stay-at-home order, Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortney publicly addressed the recall efforts against him.

“It should not be controversial to get up and talk about constitutional rights at this moment in time,” he told a crowd of more than 400 people.

“If you hadn’t heard, while I’m not running for office, I may have to fight against a recall,” he added. “So that’s happening.”

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After the sheriff left the stage, he told KIRO 7 he was bracing for a long political fight.

"She has six months to get signatures,” said the sheriff, referring to the woman organizing the recall against him. “That’s a very long time.”

“Is that daunting to you, six months?” asked KIRO 7 reporter Ryan Simms.

“The only reason it would be daunting to me is that I’d rather be working on public safety that working on that crap,” the sheriff responded. “I think it’s ridiculous and frivolous and I don’t think we should be having to go through that.”

Despite refusing to enforce the stay-at-home order, Sheriff Fortney said he spoke to the governor’s office just a few days ago.

“Was it a cordial conversation?" Simms asked.

“Yes, absolutely cordial. Absolutely,” Fortney replied, adding that his actions were aimed at saving struggling small businesses.

“There was a huge line at Chick-fil-A. People coming in and out. Why can’t a small business in Snohomish or Marysville open up? What’s the difference?" he asked.

People at the rally agreed.

“(Small shops) don’t get to be in business, but Walmart, Costco, all these big corporations, they can stay in business,” said rallygoer Joshua Sanabria.

“This is standing up for liberty,” said another rallygoer Marni Osterued. “This is embracing the freedom we all have as Americans.”

In the end, Sheriff Fortney insisted he’s not a political guy.

“I worked a year of my life to get elected to be Snohomish County Sheriff. I’m a 23 -year street cop. All I care about is doing that,” he told KIRO 7.

The sheriff made these comments a day after leaders in Snohomish County said it was highly unlikely that Phase 2 of reopening would happen on June 1 because the county just wasn’t ready to reopen.