Rob McKenna and Jay Inslee are in a pitched battle for the governorship. But there’s another candidate in the race whose name you might not have even heard, and he’s hoping to draw in votes on the far right.
SEATTLE – I stay pretty up to date on politics. I know the platforms of both Inslee and McKenna well, and actively talk about them with my friends. So the other day when someone asked me if I knew about the third candidate in the Washington State governor’s race I thought it was a joke! How could I have missed this?
After a few more minutes of conversation and a quick internet search, I found him. His name is Shahram Hadian, a former Muslim turned Christian pastor, running on a platform focused on morality and national security.
Hadian has a unique story when you compare him to his competition. He was born in Iran in 1971 and left the country with his parents shortly before the government was overthrown by an Islamic regime. Hadian sees this as the moment when the people of Iran lost their freedoms, and he says he sees it happening in America now.
In a statement on his website, he says, “I witnessed my birth country lose its freedoms, and now I’ve come to America and this is my home, and I’m seeing America lose her freedoms. I cannot be silent and do nothing.”
After spending a childhood in Canada, Hadian came to the U.S. and waited almost 15 years to become a legal citizen. He sees the most transformational moment in his life as when he became a Christian. Hadian is married with two young boys and has started a public speaking business called the Truth In Love Project. He speaks on a number of issues including national security, protecting the Constitution and the threat of radical Islam in America.
So with an understanding of this man’s background, my immediate question was: why is he running for Governor?
The answer seems simple, he thinks party politics have taken over the process and made principles disappear. Hadian says, “We have to flip things around and return to our foundation, where it is principles that guide us.” He thinks that principles that determine the candidates and should be what people base their vote on.
According to the Public Disclosure Commission, Hadian has raised just over $46 thousand for his campaign — and spent almost $40 thousand of is already. Donations have come in from around the state, but his total still pales in comparison to Inslee and McKenna, who have both raised over four million dollars.
He has just over 1,000 “likes” on his Facebook page and multiple pictures of him giving speeches around Washington. One of his most recent photos shows him signing Initiative 1192, which would effectively overturn our state’s new same-sex marriage law.
While Hadian is not the only Republican in the governor’s race, some see him as the only true conservative. A post on RedState.com says his campaign is resonating with the conservative base across the state, many of whom feel that they have lost their voice in recent elections. It is still unclear how this will pan out in votes, but some see Hadian as the most conservative man in the race, possibly pulling votes from religious or extremely right-leaning groups away from McKenna.
One supporter wrote a Letter to the Editor in the Tricity Herald that generated 37 comments, ranging from intrigue to an entire debate on whether Washington, as a state, should be Pro-Israel.
Despite the multiple levels of support Hadian is receiving, he still has not received an invitation from the Association of Washington Businesses to the gubernatorial debate on June 12; but supporters are emailing and calling in to try and get him a seat on the stage.
Whether or not he makes it there, it’s clear that Hadian is taking his campaign seriously. But at least for now he’s still far off of most people’s radar.