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Spin Control

Posts tagged: 2012 Washington elections

Sam Reed to retire after 2012

Sam Reed says he won't run for re-election at a press conference today.

OLYMPIA — Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed is calling it quits after three terms in that office and more than 34 as an elected official.

Reed, a Spokane  native and a leader in the moderate wing of the state Republican Party, said today he will retire at the end of  his term rather than seek re-election in 2012 as the state's chief elections officer, archivist and business registrar.

During his term, he saw the state go from poll-site balloting to vote-by-mail elections and oversaw the recount of the 2004 gubernatorial race, one of the closest statewide contests in U.S. history, which Democrat Chris Gregoire won after two recounts with a margin of 133 votes out of more than 2.8 million ballots cast.

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, click here to go inside the blog.

It’s official (if unsurprising): Inslee’s in

U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee officially got into the 2012 governor's race today, making the announcement at a morning press conference in Seattle and following up with another campaign stop in Yakima.

He'll be in Spokane, Vancouver and Tacoma on Tuesday. The Spokane event is scheduled for 4 p.m. at McKinstry, 850 E. Spokane Falls Blvd.

Inslee's entrance has been so well-known and long choreographed that The Spokesman-Review published an “announcement of the announcement” story last week.

Today we'll tell you some of the reaction, although that, too, is unsurprising. Democrats were magnanimous in their praise, Republicans pointed in their criticism. Here's a sampling:

Kirby Wilbur, Washington state Republican Party chairman: “Congressman Inslee has been in public office since the 1980’s, raising taxes and running up government spending,. The voters of Washington state will reject his out-of-touch politics again, just like they did in 1996 when he last ran for governor.”

(Election trivia 1: Inslee finished third among Democrats, and fifth overall in a 15-person primary that year.)

Dwight Pelz, Washington state Democratic Party chairman: “”With his laser focus on growing jobs, and strong base support from representing both sides of the mountain, Jay Inslee is the automatic front-runner for the Democratic nomination.  He has more than what it takes to become our state's next chief executive.”

(Election trivia 2: Inslee was once the representative for Central Washington's 4th Congressional District. He held that position for one term 1993-94, before losing to current occupant Doc Hasting. Inslee won the 1st District seat in 1998.)

Pelz also called Inslee “the automatic front-runner for the Democratic nomination.” At this point, he seems to be the only runner, but perhaps that's being overly pedantic.

To see the full versions of these and other Inslee-related press releases, go inside the blog.

Sunday Spin: Mainstream GOP may have been hot dogging Inslee money

Washington Republicans tried last week to wring every last drop out of a connection between the state and Rep. Anthony Weiner's bad behavior, however tenuous it was.
Earlier in the month, the state GOP criticized Jay Inslee, a Washington congressman who would like to be governor, for accepting a $1,000 contribution from Weiner in 2000. Inslee should “send back the tainted money”, Republicans said.
Rather than give the money back to Weiner, Inslee's campaign announced it would donate it to Planned Parenthood.
Not good enough, a group known as the Mainstream Republicans said last week. . .

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, go inside the blog.

Today’s fun video: Is this the way you feel about 2012 campaigning?



OK, I admit I watched much of the GOP presidential debate on Monday, because, well, it's sort of my job.

But the whole set up — New Hampshire, seven candidates, town hall meeting style questions, a full phalanx of talking head analysts parsing every word — did have me checking the calendar to make sure that I hadn't slept Rip Van Winkel-style through 2011 and awakened in January 2012.

Truth be told, I had a similar “What year is this again?” feeling when folks in Washington started announcing in the last week runs and non-runs for various statewide executive offices on the 2012 ballot.  And some of the full-time political geeks who do campaigns for a living admitted similar feelings in conversations.

So I gotta wonder, how does the rest of America — you know, the real people who have lives and  jobs and other things to occupy their minds — feel about presidential debates nearly 18 months before an election? The Daily Show may have captured it best.

Dunn in the AG race

OLYMPIA — King County Councilman Reagan Dunn officially entered the 2012 race for state attorney general Tuesday a post opening up because current occupant Rob McKenna is running for governor.

Dunn, a Republican, was welcomed to the race King County Councilman Bob Ferguson, who got in the race in February. Being a Democrat, Ferguson had no reason to wait for the GOP incumbent to announce he was trying to move up. But won't those county council meetings be fun?

Dunn has lined up GOP endorsements from McKenna, former AG Ken Eikenberry and several former U.S. attorneys including Jim McDevitt and Bill Hyslop.

His announcement statemment, as well as Ferguson's “welcome” statement, can be found inside the blog.

Gregoire terms: From a disputed win to recession-era budgets

OLYMPIA – Chris Gregoire, who became governor in the midst of controversy and managed the state during some of its worst economic adversity, said Monday she won’t seek a third term.
Instead, she said she’ll spend the next 18 months working to improve the economy, then take some time off.
“The worst thing that I can think of for the state of Washington is for me to be preoccupied with a campaign right now,” she said at a morning press conference in front of the Governor’s Mansion, where she was flanked by members of her family and had members of her cabinet and senior advisors gathered on the driveway nearby. “We are going to make sure we pull this state out of this recession.”
She said she wanted to leave “on my terms, in my time” and go on to do something else after taking “a little break” to spend time with her family…
 To read the rest of  Tuesday morning's story, go inside the blog

Gregoire to decide on re-election run this month

Gov. Chris Gregoire at a post-bill-signing press conference Tuesday.

OLYMPIA — Chris Gregoire will decide this month whether she will seek a third term as Washington's top elected official.

“I haven't made a decision. I'm meeting with my family this weekend,” the governor said during a press conference after signing a list of bills from the recently completed special session of the Legislature .”I can't go on beyond this month. I've got work to do.”

Although the election is not until 2012, she would want to start on a statewide campaign this summer if she decides to run, and another candidate will need that time if she doesn't. The two-term Democratic incumbent said she talked this week with Republican Attorney General Rob McKennas but declined to say what the subject was. “It's his to announce,” she said of his plans.

Asked if the conversation was about a lawsuit over federal health care reform, on which they disagree, or about the gubernatorial campaign, she replied: “Not about the health care lawsuit.”

Next week Gregoire is expected to sign a budget that cuts social service programs, education, higher education and most state services. “I didn't run on this six years ago. I didn't run on this two years ago. But the times are what they are.”

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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