Sunday, September 23, 2012
Rob McKenna has the experience and intellect to be a great governor.
McKenna, a moderate Republican, has distinguished himself as the state attorney general for the past eight years. He has shown he can make tough decisions.
State government needs new, dynamic leadership. We believe McKenna has the tools and the vision to do what’s needed to change the culture in Olympia.
McKenna’s opponent, moderate Democrat Jay Inslee, is clearly qualified to be governor. If elected, we have no doubt he would serve well.
McKenna and Inslee share some of the same views. Both are focused on improving education and have made boosting funding for K-12 and higher education a top priority.
They differ, however, on where the money can be saved to better fund schools. The candidates plans are detailed and impressive.
In Inslee’s economic plan he expects to bring new industry, jobs and more tax revenue. He also looks to find savings in health care by getting more Washingtonians enrolled in government programs so they can get preventative care that will eventually curb taxpayer costs.
We aren’t convinced boosting enrollment in government health insurance is a panacea.
McKenna takes a more pragmatic approach, vowing to look for ways to streamline government. Budget cuts forced efficiency in the Attorney General’s Office that have allowed it to operate smoothly with fewer employees. Those now in the office have higher job satisfaction than others in state government.
Inslee has served as a state lawmaker and he’s done two stints in Congress. He represented Yakima in the 4th Congressional District starting in 1992. He lost in 1994 to Doc Hastings and later moved to the Puget Sound area where, in 1998, he was elected to Congress from the 1st Congressional District.
Inslee is well-schooled in the legislative process and the realities of take-no-prisoners partisan politics. Again, he could do the job.
McKenna has some legislative experience as a member of the King County Council and, as attorney general, he’s had to work with lawmakers. He, too, can play hardball politics.
But it is McKenna’s executive experience as attorney general that separates him in this race.
We see McKenna as a problem solver, which is exactly what Washington state needs right now. McKenna exhibits the tenacity needed to reform government. He is willing to step on toes in either party.
And McKenna is incredibly bright. A lot of people — particularly those in politics — believe they are the smartest person in any room they walk into. McKenna really is.
Inslee is an excellent candidate.
But McKenna is a better candidate. He should be effective and has the best chance of bringing needed reforms to state government.