Locke to campaign for embattled Davis

September 20, 2003

Associated Press
King 5 News

OLYMPIA, Wash. Washington Gov. Gary Locke, the country's first Chinese-American governor and head of the nation's Democratic governors, will campaign for embattled colleague Gray Davis in California on Monday.

The governor, the son of Chinese immigrants and a longtime ally of his fellow West Coast governor, will attend campaign events and news conferences with Asian journalists in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Washington Governor Gary Locke
"The governor is specifically targeting the Asian-American community," spokesman Roger Nyhus said Friday. "He strongly believes that recall is wrong for California, wrong for Washington, wrong for the nation.

"All of the uncertainty in such a large state is bad for the American economy."

Davis is getting a bad rap, Locke believes.

"Gov. Locke has made it clear that there are 47 other states with major budget problems in this country and they were not caused by the actions of the governors," Nyhus said. "They were caused by Sept. 11 and the national recession and so many other factors.

"Most governors are really limited in terms of what they can do, because so much of their budgets are taken up with paying for educating, medicating and incarcerating their citizens."

Locke is part of a parade of Democratic luminaries going to bat for Davis. Former Vice President Al Gore campaigned with Davis on Friday. Former President Bill Clinton stumped for Davis last weekend. Howard Dean and other presidential candidates are campaigning with Davis.

Other visitors lined up include civil rights leader Jesse Jackson; fellow Democratic governors Locke and Tom Vilsack of Iowa; and two popular former governors, Mario Cuomo of New York and Ann Richards of Texas.

Locke also has an official event on the schedule, appearing with Davis in Los Angeles to announce a pact by California, Oregon and Washington to work together on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and combating global warming.

One example, said Nyhus, would be to pool purchasing power of the states for fuel-efficient and hybrid vehicles for state motor pools.


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