Search form

Donate Today

Vote 2016

Live Recording: First Governor’s Debate

Monday, Sept. 26 at 8 p.m.

September 26, 2016

Live Blog:


Jay Inslee is seeking his second term as governor, having won the office in a tough 2012 contest with former Republican state Attorney General Rob McKenna. The 65-year-old Democrat graduated from the University of Washington before earning a law degree from Oregon's Willamette University School of Law. He began a law practice in Selah, just north of Yakima, and served as city prosecutor and later as a member of the Washington State House of Representatives. A born-and-bred Washingtonian (as a student at Seattle's Ingraham High School, he was frequently mentioned in the daily papers' sports pages), he has the rare distinction of having been elected to Congress from both an Eastern Washington district for a single term (1993–1995) and a Puget Sound area district. He served as a member of Congress from 1999 until resigning in March 2012 to run for governor. Inslee is campaigning on improvements to school funding, successful passage of a bipartisan transportation funding package and job growth.

Former Port of Seattle Commissioner Bill Bryant,56, is trying to become the first Republican governor since John Spellman left office in 1985. Bryant actually served in Spellman’s administration as director of the governor’s international trade council. A lifelong Washingtonian, he was born in Morton and graduated from high school in Olympia, going on to earn a bachelor's degree at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. Like Inslee, he also has an Eastern Washington background, having worked in Yakima on the export of agricultural products following his employment in Spellman's administration. He moved to Seattle and founded BCI, an agricultural exports enterprise that he grew from a basement office in 1992 to a firm employing 35 people today. During his eight years as a port commissioner, Bryant helped bring about an agreement to consolidate operations with the Port of Tacoma. He has criticized the Inslee administration as incompetent and promises educational improvements and environmental leadership.

Fun fact: The fathers of both candidates were public school teachers.