As reporters and activists have long expected, Jay Inslee has decided to run for governor of our great state of Washington in 2012.
Inslee’s campaign issued a media advisory an hour ago inviting reporters to next week’s series of kickoff events, which will begin in Seattle.
Refreshingly, the release was very straightforward. It didn’t say, Jay Inslee to Make Special Announcement, or Jay Inslee to Discuss Plans for 2012. It simply said, Jay Inslee to Announce Run for Governor.
The first kickoff event will take place Monday in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood at 9 AM. It will be followed by an event in the Yakima Valley (where Jay was first elected to office) the same day. On Tuesday, Inslee will stop in additional cities (Tacoma, Vancouver, and Spokane) to meet with supporters.
Inslee’s official entry into the race creates a matchup with Republican Rob McKenna that promises to be one of the fiercest contests for governor Washington has ever seen. Inslee and McKenna are widely expected to secure the nominations of their respective parties prior to the winnowing election in August 2012, where they are very likely to be the two candidates that advance to the runoff in November 2012.
(I say runoff because the “Top Two” system the Grange and Sam Reed brought us in 2004 with Initiative 872 is not a primary. In a real primary — whether open or closed — voters identifying with a political party get to do the nominating for their party’s candidates).
The advisory released by Inslee’s campaign notes that he will be unavailable for interviews or for comment until Monday. That makes sense, since otherwise the official kickoff would be preempted. A campaign has to be in control of its own message, and it looks like Jay’s is.
We look forward to Jay outlining his future for Washington on Monday.
POSTSCRIPT: JayInslee.com has just been relaunched, and the banner features the tagline, Building a Working Washington. That sounds like it just might be the campaign theme. If so, I’d say it’s a good choice.