|22nd Governor of Washington|
January 12, 2005 – January 16, 2013
|Preceded by||Gary Locke|
|Succeeded by||Jay Inslee|
|Chairperson of National Governors Association|
November 15, 2010 – July 17, 2011
|Preceded by||Joe Manchin|
|Succeeded by||Dave Heineman|
|16th Attorney General of Washington|
January 13, 1993 – January 12, 2005
|Preceded by||Ken Eikenberry|
|Succeeded by||Rob McKenna|
March 24, 1947
Adrian, Michigan, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of Washington, Seattle
Christine O'Grady Gregoire (//; born March 24, 1947) is an American politician who served as the 22nd Governor of the state of Washington from 2005 to 2013. A member of the Democratic Party, Gregoire defeated Republican candidate Dino Rossi in 2004 and again in 2008. She is the second female governor of Washington. She was the National Governors Association chairwoman for the 2010–11 term. After she left the governorship, some sources reported that she was being considered for a position in Barack Obama's cabinet in his second term, possibly in the State Department, or as United States Secretary of the Interior. However, John Kerry became the United States Secretary of State, while Sally Jewell was nominated for the position of Interior Secretary.
Early life, education, and early law career
Gregoire was born in Adrian, Michigan. She was raised in Auburn, Washington, by her mother, Sybil Grace Jacobs (née Palmer), who worked as a short-order cook to support the family. After graduating from Auburn Senior High School, she attended the University of Washington in Seattle, graduating in 1969 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in speech and sociology. At UW, she became a member of the Sigma Iota chapter of the Kappa Delta sorority. She then attended law school at Gonzaga University in Spokane, receiving her Juris Doctor in 1977.
She went to work as an assistant attorney general in the office of state Attorney General Slade Gorton, a Republican. As an assistant attorney general, Gregoire concentrated on child-abuse cases, coordinating with social workers to get children removed from abusive family situations and placed with relatives or foster homes.
Elected to office as Attorney General in 1992, Gregoire's term included a scandal wherein her office failed to file a timely appeal on a $17.8M judgment against the state; at that time the largest such judgment in Washington State history. The court determined "the Attorney General's Office lacked any reasonable procedure for calendaring hearings".
2004 gubernatorial election
Gregoire defeated Ron Sims and four other minor candidates in the primary election on September 14, 2004. She had come under fire during the primary for her membership in Kappa Delta and for that sorority's nonwhite membership policy in the late 1960s. She clashed with Sims over her position at the sorority and Sims later dropped the issue and dismissed any claims of racism. Sims campaigned on the need for tax reform and the institution of a statewide income tax. Gregoire won the primary with over 60% of the vote.
During the general election against former state senator and real estate agent Dino Rossi, Gregoire proposed a major initiative in life sciences, especially by increasing state funding for embryonic stem cell research. In debates, Gregoire tried to counter voter unease about the state government by saying she would "blow past the bureaucracy" and bring change herself. With a focus on change, but with little detail on specifics, many state Democratic leaders expressed concerns about the kind of leader Gregoire would be. Gregoire would win the backing of the Legislature within six months after pushing through a number of important measures on car emission standards and unemployment benefits.
The election was held on November 2, 2004, with the initial count showing Gregoire trailing Rossi by 261 votes. However, a legally mandated machine recount reduced that lead to only 42 votes, then a hand count that was requested and funded by the state's Democratic Party gave Gregoire a 10-vote lead. Following a State Supreme Court ruling that allowed several hundred ballots from King County to be included, her lead was further increased to 130 votes, but when the vote was certified by the state's Secretary of State, Sam Reed, at the end of December, one vote which had been counted in Thurston County past the deadline was disqualified and her lead was reduced to 129 votes. Washington's Republican leadership then filed suit, claiming that hundreds of votes, including votes by felons, deceased voters, and double voters, were included in the canvass, but on June 6, 2005, Judge John E. Bridges ruled that the Republican party did not provide enough evidence that the disputed votes were ineligible—or for whom they were cast—to overturn the election.
Judge Bridges did note that there was evidence that 1,678 votes had been illegally cast throughout the state,; including more than 1,400 felons had voted who had not received clemency. 53 persons voted who were deceased. Two non-citizens and 27 double votes (votes by the same person at multiple polling sites).
On October 28, 2004, the Seattle Times reported that out-of-state donors were contributing heavily to Gregoire's campaign coffers. More than $1,000,000 was given to the Democratic Governor's Association from trial lawyers who had worked closely with Gregoire on the 1998 tobacco settlement. According to the Seattle Times' analysis, nearly half of Gregoire's 2004 campaign contributions came from out-of-state.
Governor of Washington
The first legislative session ended with Gregoire brokering new bipartisan transportation legislation. The package included a 9.5-cent-a-gallon gas-tax increase to help repair many roads in Washington, particularly in the Seattle area, including the Alaskan Way Viaduct, Interstate 405, and the Route 520 bridge.
The bill was initially blocked by Republican leadership in the Legislature and when it came to a vote in the House on the morning of the last day of the 2005 session, it was blocked again in a procedural vote. After extensive lobbying from Gregoire, House Democratic and Republican leadership met and agreed to let the measure come up for a vote. It cleared the House shortly thereafter and was swiftly passed by the state Senate and she signed it into law later that week.
The tax package was met with mixed reviews. While she was praised widely by Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and Senate for her leadership skills regarding passing this deal, several state legislators disagreed with the merits of the tax because of the already high price of gas. An initiative to repeal the tax, Measure No. 912, was a part of the November 2005 ballot, but was rejected by the voters.
Gregoire's agenda for the 2006 legislative session included implementing education reforms, including early childhood education programs and using international standards for math and science. She also lobbied for a constitutional amendment to make a school levy approval contingent on a majority of voter support, rather than a 60% super-majority. The amendment got the necessary 2/3 vote in the state congress, but ultimately the state voters rejected the amendment. Gregoire spearheaded the effort to set aside a portion of the state's $1.4 billion surplus for a rainy day fund .
A landmark gay civil rights bill failed in the 2005 session but subsequently passed in the 2006 session. It was primarily responsible for expanding the scope of protected classes to include sexual orientation and gender identity in cases of discrimination. The bill was signed by Gregoire on January 31, 2006. She also signed a law on April 21, 2007 granting same-sex couples domestic partnership rights.
In October 2005, Gregoire sent a letter to the state's Gambling Commission recommending that it renegotiate a compact with the Spokane Native American tribe it had submitted for approval. The original compact would have allowed the tribe, and any other tribe that signed on to the compact, to have off-reservation gambling facilities, increase the number of slot machines allowed to 7,500, operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, removed betting limits for some card players, and give credits to high rollers in exchange for sharing the profits from gambling with state and local governments. It was opposed by many of the state's lawmakers of both parties and by anti-gambling groups that were concerned about the spread of gambling across the state, as well as other Native American tribes. The renegotiated compact, which was signed by the Spokane and 26 other Washington tribes, was signed by Gregoire in early 2007 and eliminated the revenue sharing and off-reservation facilities, but included an increase of allowed slot machines to 4,700 with a limit of 2,000 per location, increased the betting limit of some of its slot machines to $20, and allowed high-stakes gambling on blackjack and poker tables to players who pass financial screening and aren't known problem gamblers. The tribe also agreed to donate 2 percent of the gross revenue from table games and 1 percent from gambling devices to charity.
Following a ruling by the state's supreme court that a 1% property tax cap voted into law via initiative was unconstitutional, Gregoire ordered a special session to reinstate the cap. In the days leading up to the special session Gregoire and the Democrats were accused by liberals that they were caving in to Tim Eyman, the person who submitted the property tax initiative, and rushing the legislative process to reinstate the cap but not making other, more meaningful, property tax reform.
2008 gubernatorial election
Gregoire officially endorsed Barack Obama on February 8, 2008, hours before an event at KeyArena in Seattle where she introduced Senator Obama before a crowd of 18,000 people. The Washington caucuses were held the next day with Obama beating Clinton in every county in the state.
Gregoire began her re-election campaign at her late mother's former employer, the Rainbow Café in Auburn, Washington, on April 7, 2008. Immediately after her announcement, Gregoire began a biodiesel bus tour of the State of Washington. Her opponent in the race, Dino Rossi, had announced his candidacy in October 2007.
Both Gregoire and her opponent fast approached fundraising records early in their campaigns. In April, Gregoire hosted a fundraiser with Bill Richardson at the Seattle Westin which net the campaign over $300,000. Later, in July, Gregoire held another large fundraiser with Michelle Obama at the WaMu Theater with 1,600 attendees raising over $400,000.
The Seattle Times reported that Gregoire gave cost of living increases to state employees who hadn't received raises in "many years",[dubious ] and funded voter-approved initiatives to raise the pay of schoolteachers, all groups that gave money to fund her 2004 recount campaign.
Gregoire won Washington's first ever top two primary on August 19, 2008 with 49%. She advanced to the general election against Dino Rossi. The general election on November 4 was expected to be close, but Gregoire benefited from a large turnout among Democrats to vote for Barack Obama in the United States Presidential election and ended up defeating Rossi 53% to 47%. There was a marked geographical split in the 2008 election: the more populous and Democratic-leaning Western Washington counties supported Gregoire, whilst the less populous and more Republican-leaning Eastern Washington counties supported Rossi.
Before the start of the 2009 legislative session, four separate unions representing state workers filed lawsuits against the governor for suggesting that the workers' pay raises be dropped as part of addressing the looming state budget deficit.
On January 4, 2012, Gregoire announced her support for same-sex marriage and pledged to sign a marriage bill if it were passed by the legislature. The bill was passed on February 8, 2012. Gregoire signed the bill on February 13. Opponents of the bill collected the necessary signatures to place it on the November ballot, where it was approved by 53.7% of the voters. The law took effect December 6.
Gregoire's term ended in January 2013 and her official portrait was painted by artist Michele Rushworth.
On July 1, Gregoire began a term as a board member for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Larry Corey, an M.D. and the director of the Hutchinson Center commented, "As governor, Chris Gregoire was a visionary leader and advocate of biomedical research. Under her watch she proposed a major initiative in the life sciences. Gregoire will be instrumental in helping to shine a spotlight on the lifesaving work of the Hutchinson Center and how it contributes to the health and well-being of people throughout the state and the world."
From August to December 2014, Gregoire took a position as a Fall Fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School in Harvard Square, where she spent time engaging with students at the School about leadership in various positions of government.
Gregoire's first child, Courtney, was born in Spokane in 1979. In 2013, Courtney was appointed to the Seattle Port Commission. Her second daughter, Michelle, was born in 1984. When not in Olympia, Gregoire lives in the nearby suburb of Lacey with her husband Michael.
In 2003, she was diagnosed with breast cancer in an early stage after a routine check-up and a mammogram. She had surgery and recovered. She mentions her fight with cancer in speeches about health care.
In 2009, Gregoire became the recipient of a sort of tongue-in-cheek Fuse "Fizzle" Award. The awards program is aimed at promoting leadership and accountability in the Washington State Legislature.
|Washington Attorney General Election 1992|
|Populist||Homer L. Brand||32,124||1.48|
|Washington Attorney General Election 1996|
|Washington Attorney General Election 2000|
|Washington Gubernatorial Election 2004|
|Washington Gubernatorial Election 2008|
- "Gregoire to lead Governors Association meeting in D.C.", The News Tribune, February 28, 2011
- Conelly, Joel (November 28, 2012). "Gregoire as interior secretary in Obama’s second term?". SeattlePI.
- Varner, Lynne (November 29, 2012). "Gov. Chris Gregoire’s legacy of public service". Seattle Times.
- Wilson, Reid (July 25, 2012). "Chris Gregoire (D)". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 24, 2014.
- "Gregoire's mother and 'inspiration' dies". The Seattle Times. May 4, 2000.
- Profile of Gov. Gregoire
- Joni Balter (March 7, 1999). "Gregoire Ponders Leap Into Year Of The Woman 2000". The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 8, 2008.
- Nalder, Eric (August 22, 2000). "No excuse for missed appeal, court says". The Seattle Times.
- Ralph Thomas (August 23, 2004). "Gubernatorial candidate Gregoire faced racial dilemma in college". The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 7, 2008.
- "Gregoire lashes out at Sims over all-white sorority story". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. August 26, 2004. Retrieved August 7, 2008.
- Angela Galloway (June 29, 2004). "Sims runs in primary on dreaded 'T' word". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved August 7, 2008.
- Angela Galloway (September 15, 2004). "Gregoire vs. Rossi for governor". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved August 7, 2008.
- Jennifer Sullivan (October 9, 2004). "Democrats tout stem-cell research". The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 7, 2008.
- Ralph Thomas (October 13, 2004). "Gregoire, Rossi debate in Yakima". The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 27, 2008.
- Ralph Thomas (May 1, 2005). "What Governor Gregoire said - and did". The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 27, 2008.
- Elaine Thompson (The Associated Press) (December 23, 2004). "Democrat wins hand recount in Wash. governor race". USA Today. Retrieved August 6, 2008.
- Ralph Thomas (December 30, 2004). "Gregoire declared governor-elect, but Rossi wants new vote". The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 6, 2008.
- David Postman (January 29, 2005). "Republicans say they've found 249 more felons who voted". The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 6, 2008.
- David Postman (January 27, 2005). "GOP says it found 300 illegal votes". The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 6, 2008.
- Sharon Altaras (June 6, 2005). "Judge upholds Gregoire's election". Wenatchee World. Retrieved August 7, 2008.
- Sharon Altaras (June 7, 2005). "Dems ecstatic, judge back to business as usual". Wenatchee World. Retrieved August 7, 2008.
- Wright Talley (December 4, 2007). "The Stunning Reality of Voter Fraud". Human Events. Retrieved October 6, 2014.
- Ralph Thomas (October 28, 2004). "Out-of-state donors feed Gregoire fund". The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 6, 2008.
- Chris McGann (May 7, 2005). "Gregoire: First the victory, now the triumphs". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved August 21, 2008.
- Rebecca Cook (The Associated Press) (May 9, 2005). "Governor signs gas tax increase, transportation package". The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 21, 2008.
- Ralph Thomas; Andrew Garber (April 25, 2005). "Gas tax is going up". The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 21, 2008.
- David Broder (May 12, 2005). "Gregoire channels Bush". The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 21, 2008.
- David Ammons (The Associated Press) (April 24, 2005). "Second time's a charm: House passes gas tax hike". The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 21, 2008.
- Andrew Garber (November 10, 2005). "Gas tax stays, but don't expect big road projects to get going soon". The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 21, 2008.
- Weekday, program on November 20, 2006, KUOW-FM radio.
- Floyd McKay (March 22, 2006). "Will public reward Dems for a productive session?". The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 22, 2008.
- Sam Skolnik; Vanessa Ho (May 27, 2006). "Time for gamblers to fold". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved August 22, 2008.
- Joseph Turner (October 28, 2005). "Governor says no to expanded tribal gambling". The News Tribune. Retrieved June 30, 2008.
- Nicholas Geranios (December 29, 2006). "Spokane, state, U.S. reach gambling deal". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved June 30, 2008.
- Ralph Thomas; Andrew Garber (November 30, 2007). "Shouting, name-calling as lawmakers cap property taxes". The Seattle Times. Retrieved November 30, 2007.
- David Ammons (The Associated Press) (February 8, 2008). "Gregoire endorses Obama for president". The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 21, 2008.
- Ralph Thomas (February 8, 2008). "Seattle's KeyArena jammed for Barack Obama". The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 21, 2008.
- David Postman (February 10, 2008). "Obama beats Clinton 2-1; McCain edges Huckabee". The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 21, 2008.
- David Ammons (The Associated Press) (April 7, 2008). "Gregoire kicks off re-election bid". The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 21, 2008.
- David Ammons (The Associated Press) (April 7, 2008). of Washingtonrace3rdldwritethru.html "WA Gov. Gregoire kicks off re-election bid". The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 21, 2008.[dead link]
- "Governor Gregoire Addresses the Food Safety Conference". Office of the Governor. April 11, 2008. Retrieved August 21, 2008.
- Ralph Thomas (October 25, 2007). "Rossi announces bid for governor". The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 21, 2008.
- Ralph Thomas (April 12, 2008). "Rossi, Gregoire raising money for governor's race at record clip". The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 21, 2008.
- Curt Woodward (The Associated Press) (April 28, 2008). "Gregoire gets fundraising help from Richardson". The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 21, 2008.
- Gregory Roberts (April 28, 2008). "Bill Richardson boosts Chris Gregoire's campaign". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved August 26, 2008.
- David Postman; Emily Heffter (July 18, 2008). "Michelle Obama brings change message to Seattle fundraiser". The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 26, 2008.
- Curt Woodward (The Associated Press) (July 31, 2008). "Governor's race close again – in money". The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 26, 2008.
- Ralph Thomas (June 24, 2008). "When Gregoire won, so did her donors". The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 20, 2008.
- Ralph Thomas (August 20, 2008). "Gregoire vs. Rossi: After top-two primary, real rumble begins". The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 20, 2008.
- "August 19, 2008 Top Two Primary". Washington Secretary of State's Office. August 20, 2008. Retrieved August 20, 2008.
- Mcgann, Chris; Capitol, P-I (November 5, 2008). "Gregoire triumphs as close race fails to materialize". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved November 5, 2008.
- "Fourth union sues Gregoire over contract money". The Associated Press (The Seattle Times). January 15, 2009. Retrieved January 21, 2008.
- La Corte, Rachel (December 23, 2008). "State workers sue Gregoire over canceled raises". The Associated Press (Seattle Post Intelligencer). Retrieved January 21, 2008.
- Andrew Garber (The Seattle Times Olympia Bureau) (June 13, 2011). "2 terms and out for Gov. Chris Gregoire". The Seattle Times. Retrieved June 13, 2011.
- Chaudhuri, Saabira (February 9, 2012). "Washington governor hails 'major step' as state approves gay marriage bill". The Guardian (London).
- Washington gov signs gay marriage bill into law
- Esteve, Harry (July 29, 2013). "Former Govs. Ted Kulongoski, Christine Gregoire to speak at Portland conference". Oregon Live.
- "Former Gov. Chris Gregoire Among Four Newly Appointed Board Members Of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center". Super Market News. July 10, 2013.
- "About Governor Gregoire". Washington State Office of the Governor. 2006. Retrieved June 8, 2006.
- "Pushme-Pullyu" Award
- "Election Search Results". Washington Secretary of State. October 3, 2008. Retrieved October 3, 2008.
- "Election results". The Seattle Times. November 6, 1996. Retrieved August 8, 2008.
- "Election Results". The Seattle Times. November 8, 2000. Retrieved August 8, 2008.
- "November 4, 2008 General Election". Washington Secretary of State. Retrieved November 13, 2008.
|Attorney General of Washington
|Party political offices|
|Democratic nominee for Governor of Washington
|Governor of Washington
|Chairperson of National Governors Association