The day before the Diversity at the Top dinner, a group of Republicans held a fundraising event at the China Harbor Restaurant for Attorney General Rob McKenna, a hopeful candidate for the 2012 Washington state gubernatorial race.
This is the group who is enthusiastic about him becoming our next governor, as it is rumored that Gov. Chris Gregoire will not be running for a third term.
Before the 2009 election, McKenna seemed to be the only candidate in the state who could rise to the challenge.
Now, with two new stars in the political arena, King County Executive Dow Constantine, 48, and Seattle Mayor-elect Mike McGinn, 49, it may be a little presumptuous for them to say that. I envision the upcoming election to be another exciting and interesting election.
Dow beat four Democrats in the primary and a strong opponent in the general election by a wide margin.
Traditionally, former county executives such as John Spelling and Gary Locke used the post as a springboard to the Governor’s mansion. However, it never worked for McGinn’s predecessors as Seattle mayors Norm Rice, Charles Royer, and Wes Uhlman failed to break the state’s top glass ceiling.
Never underestimate McGinn. That’s the mistake Mayor Greg Nickels made in the primary election.
McGinn might be a newcomer to politics, but he’s smart, adaptable to change, and innovative in reaching out to all kinds of voters.
Constantine and McGinn have a lot in common. Both Democrats graduated from the University of Washington’s law school.
Constantine’s longtime girlfriend, Shirley Carlson, is half Japanese and so is McGinn’s wife, Peggy Lynch.
They both have lots of energy, and they both built deep grass-roots campaigns. ♦