Seattle – Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Bryant has tried to obscure his opposition to a minimum wage increase, but last night he confirmed he opposes a statewide increase and singled out Spokane’s lowest paid workers as not needing a pay boost.
At last night’s gubernatorial debate at Seattle University, after intense questioning from KIRO 7’s Monique Ming Laven, Bryant admitted that $9.47 an hour is just fine for Spokane. Bryant has repeatedly opposed an increase in the statewide minimum wage during his campaign.
Read Bryant’s exchange with Ming Laven, one of the debate moderators.
Monique Ming Laven: I’m not sure I got an answer whether you approve of raising the minimum (…)
Bill Bryant: (crosstalk) I support raising the minimum wage across the state in areas where the cost of living exceeds inflation and I think that minimum wage increase should reflect the cost of living in that area.
Ming Laven: So you think there are parts of the state where $9.47 an hour is sufficient?
Bryant: You’ll find – you look at Spokane and you’ll find out that $13.50 in Seattle is equivalent to about $9.50 in Spokane.
“Bill Bryant admitted last night what his record clearly shows, he is against raising the minimum wage,” said Jaxon Ravens, Washington State Democrats Chair. “No amount of Republican talking points can hide that fact. It’s disturbing and telling that Bill Bryant went on statewide TV and tried to convince Washingtonians that $9.47 an hour can pay the rent, feed a family and provide for a stable life. Bill Bryant simply doesn’t understand the needs of working families in Spokane or anywhere else in Washington state.”