u 2012 Washington General Election

Governor, State of Washington

About this race

The race between Democrat Jay Inslee and Republican Rob McKenna pits two lawyers and experience politicians against each other in a battle to replace Gov. Chris Gregoire, who is retiring. Though they’ve got to great lengths to draw distinctions between each other, many of their key issues and positions are similar. The governor serves as chief executive for the state with veto power over legislation, appointment power to the state’s numerous boards, commissions and agencies, and to fill judicial openings. Serves four-year term with no term-limits although only one person has ever served more than two terms. Annual salary $166,891, plus health care, pension, official residence, staff, security.

Last updated: Nov. 13, 9:30 p.m. Election results

Jay Inslee (D) 1,460,770 51.22%
Rob McKenna (R) 1,391,168 48.78%

* Race percentages are calculated with data from the Secretary of State's Office, which omits write-in votes from its calculations when there are too few to affect the outcome. The Spokane County Auditor's Office may have slightly different percentages than are reflected here because its figures include any write-in votes.

Related coverage

Pot leaving Washington is federal concern

OLYMPIA – State officials are trying to convince the federal government they can keep legally grown pot from making its way over the border to Oregon, Idaho or other states as they try to avoid a legal fight over the new marijuana law. “It is our responsibility to show the federal government we will be a responsible entity,” Gov. Jay Inslee said Thursday. Read more

Inslee: We can stop ‘leakage’ on legal pot

Inslee shows off the decorating changes in the governor’s office, which include a portrait of Abraham Lincoln give… Read more

Feds examining pot law, Inslee says

OLYMPIA – State officials appear to be hoping for the best while preparing for the worst as Washington and the federal government try to determine how the state will license and regulate legal marijuana. After a meeting in Washington, D.C., with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on Tuesday, Gov. Jay Inslee said the nation’s chief legal officer was open to learning more about the law voters passed and the state’s plans to make it work. There were no firm conclusions from their first meeting, Inslee said. Read more

State to feds: We’ll be ready if you sue over legalized pot

OLYMPIA — State officials appear to be hoping for the best while preparing for the worst as Washington and the fe… Read more

Spin Control: Inslee, GOP hardly exchanging bouquets in early jousting

OLYMPIA – The start of a new Legislature with a new administration is much given over to pomp and ceremony, so it wasn’t too surprising that most of the players aren’t yet bringing their A game when it comes to rhetoric. Still, there were troubling signs that we’re all in for a long, hard slog if the level of debate doesn’t improve at some point soon. Read more

Sunday Spin: Rhetoric can only get better

OLYMPIA – The start of a new Legislature with a new administration is much given over to pomp and ceremony, so it … Read more

Inslee wants coal ports, trains studied

OLYMPIA – State and federal agencies studying potential impacts of a new coal terminal near Bellingham must consider the increased train traffic in Spokane and other cities around the state, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said Thursday. At his first news conference after being sworn in as governor, Inslee also said he supports restrictions on high-capacity magazines as part of comprehensive package to address gun violence, and he’d consider extending temporary taxes due to expire this year as part of a plan to close the state’s projected budget shortfall and increase money for public schools. Read more

Inslee: Coal port study must include routes through state

Jay Inslee takes questions during his first press conference as governor. OLYMPIA — State and federal agencies … Read more

New Washington state governor is sworn in

OLYMPIA – The first day of Jay Inslee’s governorship was marked by agreement that Washington needs more jobs but not more taxes, and some disagreements over environmental and social issues. Read more

Governor plays ball before attending Ball

OLYMPIA – There were two inaugural balls in Olympia on Wednesday. One was attended by Gov. Jay Inslee and his wife, other state officials and an estimated 3,000 other folks, men mostly in formal coat and tie – and a few kilts – and women mostly in long dresses and a few furs. Read more

Inauguration Day: The full speeches

Inslee delivers his speech to a joint session of the Legislature. If you can’t get enough of Inauguration Day rh… Read more

Inslee: I’ll be there for Hoopfest

Inslee goes up for a rebound in an Inaugural Day game at the governor’s mansion. OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay Inslee is a… Read more

GOP response: Inslee’s right on jobs, vague on other things

OLYMPIA — Republican legislators said they agreed with Gov. Jay Inslee the state has to focus on getting more job… Read more

Inslee Inaugural Speech: We can lead, but world won’t wait

OLYMPIA — Washington has the values and talent to lead the world’s next wave of innovations, new Gov. Jay Inslee … Read more

Inslee sworn in

New governor waves to crowd after receiving the oath of office from Chief Justice Barbara Madsen. OLYMPIA — Jay… Read more

WA Lege Day 3: Inauguration Day

OLYMPIA — Third and final day of pomp and ceremony at the state capital, as Jay Inslee and all other statewide el… Read more

Gregoire offers parting words

OLYMPIA – In her last speech to a Legislature with which she sometimes fought, Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire said they accomplished much over the last eight years, but still have much left to do. Don’t rest on your laurels, she said on her last full day in office; give the state better schools and roads. And, in a message that may have little traction with her replacement or the Republican-dominated coalition that runs the Senate, she suggested they may have to raise taxes to get the important things done. Read more

Parker giving GOP response to Inslee’s first speech

OLYMPIA — Spokane Rep. Kevin Parker will give the Republican response to Jay Inslee’s inaugural address Wednesday… Read more

Budget remains pressing issue in new legislative session

OLYMPIA – A new year, a new Legislature, a new administration – and maybe some new ideas to solve some old, familiar problems. That may be the best way to sum up the Washington legislative session that opens at noon Monday and probably gets down to business in earnest sometime Thursday after ceremonial swearings-in, speeches from an outgoing and an incoming governor, inaugural festivities and settling the question of who’s in charge in the state Senate. Read more

Inslee won’t rule out tax hikes

OLYMPIA – The Legislature should consider a wide range of options in a search to increase gun safety and reduce the threat of violence, Gov.-elect Jay Inslee said Thursday. “There is no panacea, no one solution,” Inslee said at a news conference during a preview of the upcoming legislative session sponsored by the Associated Press. “But that’s not a reason for inaction.” Read more