GOP sources: State AG Rob McKenna to announce race for governor

Posted June 7, 2011


By Jim Brunner
Seattle Times political reporter

Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna will announce his campaign for governor Wednesday evening at Sammamish High School, according to Republican sources.

McKenna, attorney general since 2004, had been widely expected to announce his decision this month. McKenna is seen by many as the GOP's best chance to take back the governor's office the party has not held since John Spellman left office in 1985.

A Sammamish High School official confirmed that the King County Republican Party has rented the school's performing arts center for Wednesday evening. The center holds more than 450 people.

The setting makes biographical sense for McKenna, 48, who graduated from Sammamish High School in 1980. He went on to become student body president at the University of Washington and earned his law degree from the University of Chicago. After working as an attorney in private practice, McKenna launched his political career, winning a seat on the King County Council in 1995.

A McKenna campaign consultant, Mariana Parks, said the campaign would release a statement Tuesday afternoon. She had no other comment.

Gov. Chris Gregoire, the two-term incumbent Democrat, has not yet announced whether she will seek a third term. But her lackluster fundraising is seen by many as a signal she intends to step aside.

U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee, the Bainbridge Island Democrat, is widely expected to announce his own bid for governor once Gregoire makes her intentions known.