A police officer best known for his rich baritone voice intends to run for the state Senate in the 49th Legislative District.
Cpl. Rey Reynolds of the Vancouver Police Department announced his candidacy Tuesday for the seat held by Sen. Annette Cleveland, D-Vancouver.
Reynolds has worked for Vancouver police for 21 years and has performed “The Star-Spangled Banner” at numerous events, including Gov. Jay Inslee’s 2014 State of the State address in Olympia.
Reynolds, who is making his first bid for elected office, emphasized that his campaign is separate from his job.
“Although I am a police officer, I am in no way running as a Vancouver police officer, and in no way do my views represent the views of the Vancouver Police Department,” he said. “All of my opinions are mine and mine alone.”
Reynolds intends to run as an “Independent Republican” and believes Republican fiscal policies and ideals mesh with his belief that less government intrusion helps all people, especially minorities, more than government programs.
“I love this community,” he said. “I am a direct part of it. It’s the best community we have right now. I believe it’s good, and I want to make it better.”
His campaign will host a kickoff event from 5 to 7 p.m. March 23 at Bleu Door Bakery, 2411 Main St., Vancouver. People interested in attending are asked to reply under “Events” on Reynolds’ Facebook page, www.facebook.com/votereyreynolds.
Reynolds earned a bachelor’s degree in water resources with a minor in biology from the University of Wisconsin. Before becoming a police officer, he spent 12 years with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and was named 1987 Clark County Officer of the Year for his work as a game warden.
Reynolds said he has “an incredible respect for the environment” and doesn’t believe that environmental protection and economic development are mutually exclusive.
His top three issues are homelessness, education and parental rights, Reynolds said. He has been married to his wife, Kathryn, for 28 years, and they have raised six children together.
“I am a strong believer that parents need to be parents, and the government needs to understand that control over our families needs to remain with parents and not with bureaucracies,” he said.
Reynolds has performed several songs, including the national anthem, “Amazing Grace” and “God Bless the USA,” at different events. Larry Smith, a retired Army colonel, a former Vancouver City Council member and co-chair of the Community Military Appreciation Committee, has referred to Reynolds as the “Voice of Vancouver.”
“Overall, that is what I would like to be,” Reynolds said. “I would like to be the voice of Vancouver.”
Reynolds hinted he has his eye on other elected positions, but he declined to elaborate.
“I am a relative political novice,” he said. “But hopefully, with the right guidance, we’re probably going for additional offices in the future.”
More information is available on his campaign’s website, ReyReynolds.com.