JOSH & ETHAN’S EXCELLENT #13PERCENT ADVENTURE
Christine Gregoire: Tale of Two Terms
Blog Post 1 – The Beginning
It was November 2nd, 2004, and after an exhausting season of campaigning, Christine (Chris) Gregoire stood anxiously waiting for the results of Washington’s gubernatorial election.
When the news came in that she had fallen 261 votes short of becoming Washington’s 22nd Governor Gregoire was devastated. Just think about that for a second, Chris was a mere 261 votes short of her dream, short of…
Ok, ok. She won. But it did take two recounts and a court order to turn the 261 vote deficit into a 133 vote win (Ethan Cirmo just did such a great job of making his first post about Barbara Roberts dramatic and I didn’t want to fall short.)
A win like that does not go without some kind of public unrest, however. We’re talking, protestors at the capitol, chants for a revote, and even bumper stickers reading “She’s not my governor.” A lot of distractions and a lot of noise, made the task of taking the state’s highest office and staring directly into a $2.2 billion dollar budget shortfall on her first day that much more difficult.
It would be a difficult task to quantify Gregoire’s passion for managing in the public sector or the hard work she put into the early years of her governorship, but there is one convincing figure available that shows the impact she made in Washington: 194,000.
Chris Gregoire enthusiastically ran for re-election in 2008 and this time, in a more convincing fashion, beat out her opponent by 194,000 votes. No recount required.
Chris Gregoire learned a lot about what working hard means from her mother.
Chris Gregoire was raised by her mother, Sybil. Mom had the tough jobs of being a single-parent and a short-order cook at a restaurant in Auburn, Washington. Chris had these moments, where she would take a break from homework or being a kid, and just watch her mom work. Her mother taught her resiliency, the power of love and to set high expectations for herself. Cybil’s most fervent dream was for Chris to attend college.
Chris’ interest and passion for public service were shape early in her childhood by a charming young fellow by the name of John F. Kennedy. She took his famous words to heart when he urged Americans to ask “What [they] could do for [their] country.” Chris will undoubtedly tell you that, first and foremost, she loves doing things that make life better for others.
When Chris hit up the big city of Seattle and attended the University of Washington, she took the lessons and passion with her. Her focus was on public service and education as she earned a teaching certificate in the late 1960s.
Post-school life was not exactly what Chris imagined however as her path would continually be up against obstacles.
But that’s a story another time. See you next Monday!