Waiting on Gregoire’s next step | Bob Roegner

Recently, the media disclosed that Gov. Christine Gregoire is on a White House list as a possible replacement for Solicitor General.

The Solicitor General position could become vacant if incumbent Elena Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court is confirmed by the United States Senate.

It has long been believed that Gregoire would only serve two terms as governor and not seek re-election in 2012. It has also been speculated that she would join President Obama in the other Washington if he were elected to a second term.

As a result, many Democratic contenders have been carefully testing the waters with groups and power brokers to get ready for when Gregoire makes an official announcement. Up until now, they had all assumed that announcement was many months away, and it still could be. However, the Solicitor General option caught all the candidates a little by surprise.

Those considered possible Democratic contenders for governor include Spokane State Sen. Lisa Brown, who has been reaching out to Puget Sound area leaders; House Speaker Frank Chopp, who has been in touch with leaders on the eastside of the mountains; Jay Inslee, who has been a congressman on both sides of the mountains; and Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon.

The leading Republican candidate is Attorney General Rob McKenna — and because he is from the opposite party, he has not had to be cautious about his plans. McKenna has been courting the Tea Party and Republican conservatives, and having been a King County Council member, he already has contacts in the most popular area in the state and has run well here.

The Democrats need to be careful to avoid alienating Gregoire or her supporters. However, if Gregoire were to look like she was leaving early, then suddenly everything is wide open.

There has been speculation that she could leave early enough to cause a free-for-all election in November. Gregoire would have to leave almost immediately for there to be time to schedule an August primary, and that is very unlikely. The confirmation process for Kagen will be played out over several weeks or possibly months. Then, if Gregoire were to get the nomination, that again would take many months and she wouldn’t resign until confirmed. If she resigns, Lt. Governor Brad Owen would finish her term, although the Legislature could call for a special election next year.

Everything depends on timing and, of course, whether she gets or even wants the job is another question. The job is consistent with her skills and resume, and the president has consulted with her on many topics. But will she leave?

Most people I’ve talked to think the timing would have to be at least sometime next spring for her to consider it; she is only one and a half years into this term. The budget problems are a challenge she would undoubtedly like to shepherd through the next legislative session, and she would like to feel comfortable about turning over to her successor a state that was in better shape than it is now.

The last piece again is timing: Who will control the Legislature after the November elections? If it’s the Democrats, then Gregoire has more latitude to consider her options. If it’s the Republicans, the decisions get a little more difficult.

In the meantime, watch the maneuvering and the press releases because the stakes just got higher.

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@federalwaymirror.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.federalwaymirror.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Opinion

Back to the wild — a whole new outdoor recreation world | Guest editorial

When enjoying the great outdoors, continue to socially distance and be aware of how else COVID-19 has changed our world.

KCLS is stepping up its commitment to patrons

KCLS has expanding its online resources so patrons can continue to learn, build skills, stay entertained and remain mentally and physically active amid the pandemic.

Fickle finger of fate has descended on Federal Way

Having a strong local government is a benefit to all of us in a crisis.

How using a face mask to cover my Asian face could put me in danger

Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, Asians and Asian Americans have been targeted.

Opinion: Public deserves honest information on sex education

The Washington comprehensive sex education bill passed in the Senate on March 7.

Grocery store staff are working hard to keep the shelves stocked during the COVID-19 pandemic. File photo
Thank you grocery store clerks

Recognizing the sacrifices of our unsung essential workforce.

To our elected officials: Be bold, be consistent, be honest, be helpful

By Patrick Grubb, Washington Newspaper Publishers Association Governor Jay Inslee has been… Continue reading

Baruso appointed to Federal Way Council amid chaos

There will be many other interpretations of the mayor’s actions, and this episode will have repercussions among the eight elected officials that run City Hall.

Federal Way trapped in a ‘Catch 22’

We are mediocre in a region that is rapidly becoming global, educated and economically relevant. We have a mountain to climb.

State of the City

Elections are next year, and with the high profile marketing for the event, the speech always sounds more like a “please vote for me” campaign kick-off.

Welcome to Olympia Mr. Johnson

Sometimes making a law isn’t pretty, and by the time everybody weighs in, that great idea may look completely different.

Mirror’s role in vetting Federal Way Council candidates

The Mirror conducted a background check on all 19 candidates who applied for the Pos. 2 vacancy.