All Politics is Local

CCRP Chair addresses that photo from Patriot Prayer rally

Gellatly rallyU.S. Senate candidate and leader of right-wing provocateur group Patriot Prayer Joey Gibson organized what he called a “freedom rally” touting his campaign in advance of Tuesday’s primary. Thousands attended the Saturday rally in Portland that ended with flash-bang grenades and reports of several injuries.

Among the subsets of Patriot Prayer members, Proud Boys and counter-protesters was Clark County Republican Party Chair David Gellatly.

Gellatly was photographed standing next to Tusala “Tiny” Toese  who received attention for his shirt stating “Pinochet did nothing wrong!” (For those who need a history refresher, Augusto Pinochet was the former president and dictator of Chile who was responsible for the torture and death of thousands in the 1970s. Gellatly said he doesn’t know Pinochet’s background or of the crimes he committed.)

Gellatly spoke during Saturday’s rally and Gibson reportedly thanked the CCRP chair for his attendance and support for their agenda.

I asked Gellatly to clarify his attendance and if he was representing himself or the party at the rally. Here’s what he said in full.

I was not involved in the rally. However, myself and Joel Mattila made our way to Portland and were given the opportunity to speak to hundreds of people there. There were people of all races and differents beliefs participating in a very diverse crowd, but all seemed to be passionate about loving our country. I was able to share a message with them about the Republican party standing for equality and opportunity, while the Democrat party’s roots were in slavery and racism which has now turned to institutionalized racism and identity politics.

I then introduced my friend and former preacher Joel Mattila (Clark County Republican State Committeeman) who then preached the gospel for about 10 minutes. Seeing such a diverse crowd of people standing against the leftist hate and violence and supporting liberty and freedom was great, while I do not know who all was there and of course made no endorsements of any certain group or person. I also got to speak to some members of Antifa, who did not seem to really know what they stood for but were definitely confused about the other group. I am happy to speak to all those who will listen, which is the only way to change hearts and minds in my opinion. I will say, the Portland police did an excellent job of managing the crowds. Although they had to use flash bangs and tear gas against the counter-protesters when they refused to obey police orders, the day was peaceful.

I have not heard Joey’s comment, so I cannot comment on it. Also, I do not make a habit of giving any group or individual any type of public endorsement, since I represent the CCRP and leave those decisions to the members.

I can say, I have never heard Joey Gibson say a single word that would lead me to believe he supports anything but freedom, free speech and equality for all. Most of the people I see try to label him with derogatory labels are the same folks I see attempt to do it to President Trump, which gives their statements very little credit in my opinion.

As for where I was in the photo, I was standing where the microphone was and facing the crowd.

Katy Sword

I cover the city of Vancouver and federal politics. Reach me at katy.sword@columbian.com.

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