SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Matt Shea is giving up his seat in the Washington House of Representatives, but he hasn't given up his dream of creating a 51st state out of the eastern half of the state.
Shea spoke Saturday at a rally in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, that featured many prominent figures in the far-right “patriot” movement.
The Spokesman-Review reports that Shea vowed to continue pushing for the creation of a 51st state called Liberty, separate from liberal Seattle and the rest of western Washington.
Shea says he wants to put on the issue on the ballot for this November in every county in eastern Washington.
He also suggested that northern Idaho might be included in the new state.
The Republican from Spokane Valley did not file for reelection this year after House Republican leaders ousted him from their caucus for his far-right activities. Shea spoke at an event dubbed “Liberate America” that drew several hundred people to the Kootenai County Fairgrounds.
Other speakers included Idaho state Rep. Heather Scott, R-Blanchard; Ammon Bundy, whose family has led armed standoffs against federal agents in Oregon and Nevada; and Joey Gibson, who leads a far-right group called Patriot Prayer that’s known for provoking fights at public demonstrations in Portland, Oregon.