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Thu., Jan. 14, 2010, 7:28 p.m.

Gov to Spokane crowd: Shouldn’t you be watching skating?

OLYMPIA -- A Spokane-area group making its annual peregrination to the Legislature capped off the trip Thursday night with a meet-and-greet reception at the Governor's Mansion. And since it's her house, the governor did show up upon her return from Seattle where she layed out a new jobs program.

But what she really wanted to know was, what were the Spokanites doing in Olympia when people from all over the country were flocking to Spokane for the ice skating championships.

Gregoire is due in Spokane herself on Friday for ceremonies, and most of the delegation of 50 or so will be back, too. She was there for the 2007 championships, and said she asked at that time about bringing the event back in 2010, pre Vancouver Olympics. Too soon, she was told then. But things have a way of working out, particularly when the 2007 event set attendance records.

"We wowwed them then, and we're going to wow them again," she said.

Word is that a member of Gregoire's staff bought her a skating outfit for the last event, which she didn't wear. She intends to not wear it again, she said.

The reception was a final chance for business and education leaders to schmooz with legislators and agency staff over salmon, tortellini, wine and beer.

One of the travelling delegation wondered if there was a message in the choice of beers being poured: Redhook MudSlinger and Slim Chance.

Probably just a coincidence...or a chance to serve up Washington brewskis.

But in Olympia, you can never be sure about such things.

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The Spokesman-Review's political team keeps a critical eye on local, state and national politics.