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Spin Control

Tue., May 8, 2012, 6:52 p.m.

Making hay in Eastern Washington

Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Jay Inslee spent today in Spokane reminding Eastern Washington voters that he's the only candidate with political and professional experience on both sides of the state's Cascade Curtain.

"Every race needs one candidate who knows how to buck hay," Inslee joked over coffee at Chairs Coffee house in North Spokane, explaining that he grew hay on part of his property while living and working in the Yakima area for nearly 20 years.

It's both a figurative and literal description of what Inslee is bringing to a tough race pitting him against Attorney General Rob McKenna, a Republican with two successful statewide campaigns under his belt.

"I have an understanding of Eastern Washington's economy," Inslee said, adding that he's also toured the region's growing aviation industry and its alternative energy companies.

In the weeks ahead, look for Inslee to continue pushing his jobs plan, which he describes as being built around strengthening Washington's middle class families by focusing on key industries and the training needed to supply the workers. McKenna has a competing jobs plan, which both candidates say they're eager to compare and contrast, point by point if necessary.

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