Christine Gregoire

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Christine Gregoire
Gregoire.jpg
Governor of Washington
Incumbent
In office
January 12, 2005 - Present
PartyDemocratic
Prior offices
Director of Dept. of Ecology
1988-1992
Washington Attorney General
1993-2005
Personal
BirthdayMarch 24, 1947
ProfessionAttorney
Websites
Office website
Christine O'Grady "Chris" Gregoire (born March 24, 1947) is the Democratic governor of the State of Washington. She was first elected in 2004 and then re-elected again in 2008.

Her election to the office in 2004 was notable for her historically slim margin of victory over Republican Dino Rossi, who had appeared to defeat Gregoire on election day and after a first recount conducted by machine, until a second hand recount resulted in a reversal of the outcome in her favor. She is Washington's second female governor.

Gregoire announced on June 13, 2011 that she would not seek re-election in 2012. She cited personal reasons, and in a press release declared: "I know it's the right decision for me and my family."[1]

Biography

An attorney by trade, Gregoire worked as an assistant attorney general in the office of state Attorney General Slade Gorton following graduation from Gonzaga University in 1977. 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.

Education

  • B.A. and teaching certificate, speech and sociology, University of Washington (1969)
    • alumna of Kappa Delta sorority
  • J.D. Gonzaga University (1977)

Political career

Washington Dept. of Ecology (1988-1992)

She served as the director of the Washington Department of Ecology from 1988 until 1992. While Ecology director she negotiated a three party agreement in 1989 with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy to clean up waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. Later, as attorney general she sued several times to try to get a more adequate cleanup job.

Washington Attorney General (1993-2005)

Chris Gregoire was elected to three terms as attorney general and was the first woman to be elected to the position in the State of Washington.

1992 election
1992 Washington Attorney General Election
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Democratic Party Approveda 'Christine Gregorie' 54.88%
     Republican Party Norm Maleng 43.64%
     Progressive Party Homer L. Brand 1.48%
Total Votes 2,169,854
1996 election
1996 Washington Attorney General Election
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Democratic Party Approveda 'Christine Gregorie' 54.88%
     Republican Party Richard Pope 35.46%
     LB Party Richard Shepard 2.75%
     Natural Law Party Luanne Coachman 1.75%
Total Votes 2,133,586
2000 election
2000 Washington Attorney General Election
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Democratic Party Approveda 'Christine Gregorie' 55.98%
     Republican Party Richard Pope 38.23%
     LB Party Richard Shepard 3.94%
     NM Party Stan Lippmann 0.83%
     Natural Law Party Luanne Coachman 1.03%
Total Votes 2,309,635

During her time in office, she worked on children's issues, reformed the state's juvenile system, led an effort to strengthen identity theft victims' rights, worked to pass a new ethics law for state government and to find alternatives to litigation in resolving legal disputes. Her office, in conjunction with other state attorneys general, investigated and sued drug companies for allegedly violating antitrust laws concerning manipulation of the price and availability of prescription drugs.

Tobacco lawsuit

Gregoire was also heavily involved in the lawsuit against the tobacco industry in the 1990s and won the state a $4.5 billion share of the settlement, including a $500 million bonus for her lead role. In recognition of her leadership in the fight against the tobacco industry, Tobacco-Free Kids Action Fund campaigned on her behalf in 2004 and stated "There isn’t a stronger tobacco control leader anywhere in the Country than Chris Gregoire." Gregoire was also critical of a later securitization of the tobacco industry settlement to fill a budget gap in the 2002 state budget.

She was also critical in preventing the Republican controlled House from diverting $90 million of the state's share of the money into the general fund, leaving only $2.5 million ear-marked for tobacco related issues.

Washington Governor (2005-present)

Gregoire was first elected to the position of Governor of Washington in 2004. She was later re-elected in 2008.

Her election to the office in 2004 was notable for her historically slim margin of victory over Republican Dino Rossi, who had appeared to defeat Gregoire on election day and after a first recount conducted by machine, until a second hand recount resulted in a reversal of the outcome in her favor. She is Washington's second female governor.

Gregorie announced on June 13, 2011 that she would not seek re-election in 2012. She cited personal reasons, and in a press release declared: "I know it's the right decision for me and my family."[1]

Elections

2008

General

In the state's general election Gregoire faced Dino Rossi. According to reports, the election was expected to be a close call. Gregoire ended up defeating Rossi with 53% of the vote. Reports later indicated that there was a huge upswing in Democratic voter turnout, attributed to to the vote for Barack Obama in the U.S. Presidential election.

Primary

Gregoire won the state's first top two primary on August 19, 2008 with 49% of the vote.

2004

General

During the general election against former state senator and real estate agent Dino Rossi, Gregoire proposed a major initiative in life sciences, especially stem cell research. She was criticized for being a part of the Olympia establishment but tried to counter the "time for a change" message by saying she would "blow past the bureaucracy" and bring change herself. This language surprised and disappointed many of her colleagues and supporters. She was also criticized for failing to give much mention or credit to the efforts and achievements of past Democratic governors while touting her own public service.

Primary

Gregoire defeated Ron Sims and four other minor candidates in the primary election on September 14, 2004. Sims campaigned on the need for tax reform. Gregoire performed relatively poorly among blacks and liberal whites, which is likely due to Sims' ethnicity and questions about her participation in a college sorority.

Gregoire is an alumna of Kappa Delta sorority, where she served as the chapter's president during her attendance at the University of Washington. In her campaign for governor she was criticized for maintaining the sorority's policy of admitting only white, Christian women.

Personal

Gregoire, born Christine O'Grady, was raised in Auburn, Washington. Gregoire lives in a suburb of Olympia called Lacey with her husband Mike. Gregoire has two daughters, Courtney (1979) and Michelle (1982). Both daughters are graduates of Olympia High School in Olympia, Washington.

In 2003, Gregoire was diagnosed with breast cancer in an early stage after a routine check-up and a mammogram. She had surgery and recovered to good health.

See also

External links

References