OLYMPIA — Gov. Chris Gregoire said she’s calling it quits after two terms, announcing today she won’t seek re-election and called another prominent Democrat urging him to run.
At a press conference outside the Governor’s Mansion this morning, said she’d spent more than 40 years in public service, including 12 as state attorney general and by the end of next year eight as governor. “I’d like to take a little break.”
She thanked her family, who flanked her at the microphone, her cabinet and her senior staff who assembled on the driveway nearby. She said she’d spend the next 18 months working to bring the state out of the recession.
“Today I have the fullest of hearts, today I have the humblest of heads,” she said. “The worst thing for the state of Washington is for me to be preoccupied with a campaign right now.”
She said she called U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee, a Democrat who has been positioning himself for a run if Gregoire did not, to urge him to get into the race. Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna announced last week that he would run for governor.
She leaves today for Washington, D.C., for a meeting of the National Governor’s Association, is scheduled to sign the state’s biennial budgets on Wednesday, and leave for the Paris Air Show later in the week to push for more sales of Boeing products.
She said she’ll support President Barack Barack Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012.
“That doesn’t mean I’m looking for a job,” she added. Gregoire has been mentioned several times as being on a short list for various Obama cabinet positions.