Seattle Times Profile of WA Gubernatorial Candidate Rob McKenna '88

Excerpted from

Attorney General Rob McKenna surprised many lawmakers last session when a campaign news conference on state spending turned into an attack on Democratic House Speaker Frank Chopp.

The GOP candidate for governor accused Chopp of derailing the state budget by withholding votes on Republican-backed bills. "These reforms are being blocked for political reasons because it's an election year," McKenna said. "That's just not acceptable. It's not responsible."

Lawmakers were embroiled in a bitter fight at the time, and Democrats were already furious that Republicans had seized control of the Senate budget with the help of three crossover votes. "All McKenna did was throw fuel on the flames," said Senate Ways and Means Chairman Ed Murray, D-Seattle.

In nearly eight years as attorney general, McKenna has developed a reputation for working across party lines — an asset he touts in his campaign for governor against former Democratic Rep. Jay Inslee.

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