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Gov. Chris Gregoire announces re-election bid
Gov. Chris Gregoire announces re-election bid
by Tim Peter - SGN Staff Writer

Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire kicked off her re-election campaign on Monday, July 28, at the Seattle Westin Hotel. New Mexico Governor and former presidential candidate Bill Richardson headlined the fundraiser of almost 1,300 Gregoire supporters, which raised more than $300,000.

Gregoire adopted the slogan, "Taking on challenges, getting results," and that was the focus of her speech on Monday. She emphasized the positive changes she had brought about since becoming governor in 2004, including making record investments in education, expanding children's healthcare and creating a constitutionally protected Rainy Day Fund.

"When I was elected in 2004, there were just 12 road projects complete; now there are 130 finished," she proclaimed. In 2006, Gregoire signed into law the first statewide anti-discrimination bill for GLBT people of Washington, which took a 30-year fight in the legislature before gaining enough votes to become law. She also signed the state's first Domestic Partnership law in 2007 and another law greatly expanding those rights in 2008.

Another area Gregoire has emphasized is education. She said that when the Dalai Lama visited Seattle last month, he thanked her for her efforts in early childhood education. She added that all Washington children on the free lunch program will be eligible for four-year scholarships to state universities. Additionally, she has increased teacher pay while reducing class size and doubled the number of student internships since taking office.

She has also focused on the states economy by creating an $890 million surplus, up from a $2.2 billion deficit when she took over in January, 2005. She said the state has also doubled its amount of exports during her tenure, from $33 billion in 2004 to $67 billion last year. She helped to create 290,000 new family wage jobs since becoming governor, and last year the state had the lowest unemployment rate in its history. She said that both Forbes and Fortune magazines recently ranked Washington as the fifth best state in which to do business.

Gregoire also touted her record of creating 25,000 new jobs in the "green economy," or jobs that are environmentally conscious. "Washington is leading the state and the nation for global climate changes," she said.

"When I ran for governor in 2004, I said I would listen to the people of Washington and serve them like never before," she said. "Now it's time to show results."

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