Attorney General Rob McKenna carved some time out to watch the Cougars first home game of the year during a campaign stop in Pullman this weekend.
The Republican gubernatorial candidate came to town late Friday afternoon and stayed until 2 p.m. on Saturday.
Along the trip, McKenna made an appearance at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Paul G. Allen Center for Global Animal Health, and talked to tailgaters before watching the game with President Elson S. Floyd at a suite in Martin Stadium.
“It’s a smart move for the university because it allows WSU to leverage one of its greatest strengths, which is animal science,” he said about the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Rep. Susan Fagan, R-Pullman, facilitated the campaign stop and worked with McKenna through the rest of his weekend tour of Eastern Washington, which included stops in Colfax and Spokane.
“It was definitely a good trip, reaching out to so many people and having people reaching out to him too,” Fagan said.
McKenna said it’s important to make stops in small towns during a statewide campaign.
“I’m running to represent the entire state, not just the big cities,” he said.
McKenna visits WSU at least once a year while checking on the staff at his local office.
Following the Paul G. Allen ceremony, McKenna and Fagan left the crowd and moved on to greet WSU students and alumni at pre-game events.
McKenna told them protecting higher education funding would be one of his top priorities if he wins the November election.
“It’s dismal,” he said. “The same people have been running things for 28 years, and they have reduced higher education to a lowest priority. It’s horrible.”
Ben Carpenter, the Spokane-area field director of McKenna’s campaign, said he coordinated with other Eastern Washington branches to make the trip as smooth as possible for McKenna.
The WSU College Republicans also held a fundraiser for McKenna during his visit. Fagan said the fundraising efforts for the trip were a success.
McKenna said he spent the hour between the ceremony and the game reaching out to the community and answering voters’ questions about his policies at tailgating events.
McKenna left the game at half-time to make an appearance at the Whitman County Fair in Colfax.