It's early, but prominent Dems are eyeing a run for governor in 2024
The Washington state governor's race is over a year away, but it is already starting to generate some buzz.
So far, Gov. Jay Inslee has not publicly stated his intentions to seek reelection. Meanwhile, two prominent Washington Democrats — Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz — both say they’re weighing a run for the state’s highest office.
Ferguson told KUOW he is “seriously considering” a gubernatorial bid, but only if Inslee decides not to seek reelection.
“It depends on what our current governor decides to do about a potential fourth term,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson is best known for fighting former President Trump, bringing dozens of lawsuits against the federal government over issues including immigration. He told KUOW he is proud of his record as attorney general, which includes taking the office in new directions compared to his predecessors.
“Before I was attorney general, we did no civil rights work, we did no direct environmental enforcement, criminal or civil. Now we lead the nation,” Ferguson said. Before Ferguson, a Republican, Rob McKenna, served as the state attorney general.
These days Ferguson said he is focused on protecting abortion rights, among other issues.
Meanwhile, Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz also spoke with KUOW about her intentions to pursue higher office.
“A lot of people are asking me to run for governor, which I'm truly humbled by, and I'm strongly considering it,” she said.
Asked about her record, Franz pointed to her work on issues like wildfires and climate change that has generated some bipartisan support. But Franz said she considers herself a “proud progressive.”
“Winning support from across the aisle on key legislative priorities doesn't mean compromising on principles,” Franz said. “I've worked throughout the state in improving economic outcomes. Everything from growing our rural economies in forestry and agriculture, clean energy, and our shellfish to being able to expand broadband.”
The race is still a long way off — the primary is next August. At a press conference Thursday, Gov. Inslee said he’s still undecided.
“We’ll make the decision at the right moment, and it’ll be the right decision,” he said.