Reichert, 53, made the announcement Thursday at a news conference. He is the first Republican to enter the race since fellow Republican Jennifer Dunn (search) surprised the party last week by announcing she wouldn't run for a seventh term in the heavily Republican 8th District.
Reichert told reporters he hasn't raised any money and doesn't have a campaign organization yet. He said he first wants to speak to people in the suburban district east of Seattle so he can accurately represent their views.
He cited Dunn and former President Reagan as two strong influences.
"Those are two people I will pattern myself after," he said.
Reichert earlier turned down a party draft to run for governor this year.
"His whole life has been about character enforcement and values," said County Prosecutor Norm Maleng, who is endorsing the sheriff's congressional bid.
Reichert has spent his entire 32-year career at the sheriff's department, and was among initial investigators in the Green River slayings. He became sheriff in 1997, a few months before the county switched from appointed to elected sheriffs. He won the nonpartisan election later that year and was re-elected in 2001.
His department arrested longtime suspect Gary Ridgway in 2001. Ridgway pleaded guilty last year to 48 killings, most of them in the early 1980s, becoming the deadliest convicted serial killer in U.S. history. He was spared the death penalty in a plea deal with prosecutors in exchange for confirmation of victims' fates and help in finding remains.