If the campaign slogan “stronger together” used by Republican state Rep. Dan Griffey on his website and in advertisements sounds familiar, it’s because he isn’t the only candidate using it this year.
Only the other person, Hillary Clinton, is a bit more famous. Not to mention a member of another party.
Indeed, Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, has plastered the phrase on banners, websites, ads and merchandise since she first introduced the slogan in about late May, according to The Washington Post.
In an interview Thursday, Griffey clarified: No, his matching slogan is not an endorsement of Clinton. His vote belongs to Republican Donald Trump.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
The Griffey campaign used the slogan first, he said.
“We picked it a long time ago and it’s too bad Hillary copied me,” Griffey said with a laugh. “Shoulda copyrighted it.”
His campaign sent The News Tribune and The Olympian emails showing the campaign switched from “Together We Can Do Better” to “Stronger Together” in early April, and was plotting the change even earlier.
“I think it was sometime in February that I was looking through a gardening magazine and came across an article on plants that thrive when put together,” wrote Dinah Griffey, Dan Griffey’s wife, in an email. “I thought the words “Stronger Together” really expressed what my husband has been doing while working for the people.”
Emails released by the activist group WikiLeaks show “stronger together” was one of more than 80 slogans Clinton’s campaign was considering. Clinton also uses “I’m with her.”
Griffey, from Allyn, was elected to the state House in 2014. He’s facing Democrat Irene Bowling in a contentious race for the 35th Legislative District seat. The district includes Mason County and parts of Kitsap and Thurston counties.
Bowling, who is voting for Clinton, said she thought Clinton is a better fit for the slogan based on her political stances.
Though Clinton is the more public face of “Stronger Together,” no slogan change is planned for Griffey.
“We picked it, we like it and we think it fits our campaign,” he said.