October, 25th 2007
Hey everybody! Dino Rossi's going to run for WA-Gov again!
– Liz Mair
So, the arguable real winner of the 2004 WA-Gov contest, Dino Rossi, is going to run against Christine Gregoire again in 2008
. Fun, fun, fun!
Rossi announced his closely watched decision in an interview with The Associated Press and planned campaign kickoff events in Issaquah, the heart of his old legislative district, and in Spokane.
"It's time for fresh air in Olympia," he told the AP. "I'm ready. I'm very excited about the prospect of changing this state."
Rossi, the former state Senate budget chairman and a real estate investor, said he's running as an agent for change in Olympia. In his view, Gregoire is an insider who is "the governor for the government, not the governor for the people."
He said the governor ran as an opponent of tax hikes and promptly raised a number of taxes after she was inaugurated. He said Gregoire famously said she would "blast through the bureaucracy," but has clung to the status quo.
"I want people to know what we're going to finish what we started," Rossi said of his own campaign.
"This is the opportunity to actually change the direction and culture in the state of Washington and turn it into a customer-oriented state, looking at citizens as the customers. This will be a big change from the incumbent, who has worked in state government for 38 years."
Rossi said his chances are excellent, even if it's a tough year nationally for Republicans.
Still, he said: "No matter what, I'll be an underdog. I'm running against an incumbent."
In comments prepared for his kickoff announcement, he took direct aim at Gregoire and described himself as a new leader for a new era.
"The state government we set out to change four years ago is more expensive and less effective at solving our problems," Rossi said. "It's going to take new leadership in Olympia."
He said he'll speak out against what he sees as Gregoire's biggest failures, including tax and budget policy, transportation, foster care, education financing, and dealing with criminals. He said he'll offer effective leadership on all those issues.
"The governor for the government has had her turn. We can do better," he said.
"This isn't just another election. It isn't just about Christine Gregoire or Dino Rossi. It's about whether we have the courage to try something new.
"My approach to being governor will be very different. I will bring with me a whole new set of people. We will work night and day to create a new attitude of public service in state government. State government will again become our servant instead of our master."
And hey, check it out, the Democratic Governor's Association is already blasting him!
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