Although the 2012 November elections seem as distant as clear skies and 70 degree temperatures, there has been a fair amount of state political news of late. In particular, the race for governor.
Last Monday, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee released his economic plan at events in Seattle and Spokane. According to Inslee, it's the first of several policy announcements to come from the campaign. Education is reportedly the next issue he will address in a second briefing plan.
In an interview with KING 5's Robert Mak Sunday, Inslee touted the plan's focus on key industries like life sciences, green energy, agriculture and aerospace. The plan also touts tax relief for small businesses, offering a B&O tax credit for small businesses that hire new employees and B&O relief for start-ups in biotech, clean energy and information technology.Inslee would also offer tax credits for investments in aerospace manufacturing and research. Alhtough Inslee's plan does not offer specifics on the price of these proposals, he told Mak:
"In the long run their cost is zero. In the short run, we're going to target them and make sure they're not any larger than the state budget can handle."
Watch the full interview by Mak with Inslee here:
Over at MyNorthwest.com, reporter Linda "The News Chick" Thomas recently interviewed both candidates (read/listen to the Inslee profile here and today's conversation wtih Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna here). Both conversations provide insight into what has motivated them personally and glimpses what they each hope to accomplish as governor.
Then today, pollster Stuart Elway released the findings from his latest poll on the race, which finds McKenna with a nine-point lead over Inslee (margin of error is plus/minus five). The poll of 405 registered voters found 45 percent of respondents would "definitely" or "probably" vote for McKenna, compared with 36 percent for Inslee.
For us at AWB, it's all part of the run up to what will be the first formal debate between the two candidates for governor on June 12 at the Bing Crosby Theater in Spokane.
AWB has a long history of hosting a debate for the state's top office holder, dating back to 1992 between candidates Mike Lowry (D) and Ken Eikenberry (R).
The debate will give AWB members and supporters from both campaigns an opportunity to hear in person the positions and perspectives of both candidates before a live audience. This year, Northwest News Network correspondent and TVW host Austin Jenkins will serve as moderator for what should be a lively debate about the future of Washington state.