September 15, 2004


It's Gregoire vs. Rossi in governor's race (Ralph Thomas, 9/15/04, Seattle Times)

Attorney General Christine Gregoire cruised to an easy victory last night in the Democratic primary for governor, setting up a showdown with Republican Dino Rossi in the general election. [...]

Rossi, a former state senator trying to become the state's first Republican elected as governor since 1980, faced no significant opposition in yesterday's GOP primary.

The general-election campaign — a seven-week scramble — will cap what is already the most expensive governor's race in state history. [...]

Rossi and Gregoire each has raised more than $3.7 million. But Rossi, facing no significant challenge in the primary, has $700,000 more in the bank. Both have fund-raisers planned today.

Republican leaders see Rossi, who calls himself a "fiscal conservative with a social conscience," as their best hope in years. During the past four gubernatorial elections, only once has the Republican nominee won more than 43 percent of the vote.

Like Gregoire, Rossi has been tailoring his message to appeal to moderate, suburban "swing" voters.

At times, in fact, it's been hard to tell the two candidates apart. Both talk often about creating jobs, oppose new taxes and talk about "growing" the economy to boost state revenue.

But Rossi and the Republicans aim to capitalize on people's frustration with Olympia and convince voters that it's time for a change.

Rossi, who spent more than 20 years in the commercial real-estate business, pointed out that Gregoire "has worked for the government her entire adult life."

As John Kerry competes in fewer and fewer states, look for George Bush to try competing in places like this where the GOP could carry the gubernatorial and Senate races too if they gain traction.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 15, 2004 10:06 PM


Agree. Its Winfield Scott's 'Anaconda Strategy' redux.

Posted by: Fred Jacobsen (San Fran) at September 16, 2004 4:40 AM

My wish, other than to see George Bush crush John Kerry (or at least a 3 point victory) is to have John Thune beat Tom Daschle in SD and George Nethercutt beat Patty Murray in WA. It goes without saying that I think the House and Senate will remain in R hands.

Posted by: pchuck at September 16, 2004 10:38 AM

On the good side, for once the GOP was able to nominate candidates who appeal to more than 30% of the public, and who will be hard to portray as hiding their horns and tail or as the tools of rightwing Christian fundamentalists.

But to beat Patty is going to require Bush's help. The state GOP is too incompetent on their own. (The were unable to put up any alternative to my Congressclown, Jay Inslee, in a district they controlled after '94.) So Rossi (gov), Nethercutt (senate) and Bush are going to have to coordinate and work to get out the vote in the state once it becomes obvious that Kerry has given up his "get out the vote" efforts.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at September 16, 2004 11:37 AM

Inslee's my congressman too--I've heard there's a big messy story behind the joker running against him this year. And yet, we have four decent candidates scrapping it out for Jennifer Dunn's seat. Chris Vance, the state party chair, is so fabulously inept that it depresses me. Raoul is exactly right--we will need Bush's help in November.

If we get it though, I think we can at least get Rossi through, and with that as a starting point, perhaps the party can rebuild. Bush also has a decent chance here, especially if Kerry depresses the Dems enough that they stay home, and Nethercutt has a chance then too, albeit slimmer than Rossi or Bush because he's from the east side of the state.

Posted by: Timothy at September 16, 2004 1:04 PM