POLITICS

Report: Jay Inslee endorses Bob Ferguson to succeed him as state’s next governor

Sep 9, 2023, 7:29 PM | Updated: 7:49 pm

Image: Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson speaks as Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, right, looks ...

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson speaks as Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, right, looks on before the signing of several bills aimed at protecting reproductive health and gender-affirming care on April 27, 2023, at the University of Washington's Hans Rosling Center for Population Health in Seattle. (Photo: Lindsey Wasson, AP)

(Photo: Lindsey Wasson, AP)

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Saturday endorsed Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson in next year’s race for governor, according to reporting from The Seattle Times.

Inslee chose Ferguson from a competitive Democratic field.

Ferguson “officially” launched his campaign Saturday, with events in Seattle, Pasco and Spokane and endorsements from several Democratic officials.

“I want to say that I don’t do this lightly,” Inslee said at Washington Hall in Seattle’s Central District, the Times reports. “To endorse a position that I’ve been able to hold with immense honor for the past decade … is a big deal to me and my grandchildren.

“He runs such an incredible attorney general’s office,” Inslee was quoted as saying. “… He has led the nation over and over again, and other attorneys general have looked to him over and over again.”

Ferguson announced in early May he was launching an exploratory campaign for the 2024 gubernatorial election, less than 24 hours after current Inslee announced he would not run again. An exploratory campaign is not the same as officially running for governor, but it is the first step.

Inslee has been the governor of Washington since 2013 and is the second elected official to serve three consecutive terms as the executive of the state’s government.

Potential candidates usually make such an announcement to signal to donors and others they’re seriously testing the waters for a run without officially declaring their candidacy.

“I’ve never been afraid to take on big fights,” Ferguson wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, in May. From the Trump (Administration and) gun lobby to anti-abortion extremists (and) corporate interests, I’ve taken on powerful adversaries, and won. That’s just the start. I’m proud to announce my exploratory campaign for (Washington governor).

Contributing: L.G. Gilbert

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Report: Jay Inslee endorses Bob Ferguson to succeed him as state’s next governor