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Biography Christine Gregoire

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Christine Gregoire Christine Gregoire
Christine Gregoire
The 22nd and current Governor of the state of Washington.


Christine Gregoire Biography

ENG:  Christine O'Grady "Chris" Gregoire (born March 24, 1947) is the 22nd and current Governor of the state of Washington, and a member of the Democratic Party. Gregoire defeated Republican candidate Dino Rossi in 2004, and again in 2008. She is the second female governor of Washington. Gregoire is also the National Governors Association chairwoman for the 2010-2011 term.


Early life and career

Chris O’Grady was raised in Auburn, Washington, by her mother, who worked as a short-order cook to support the family. After graduating from Auburn Senior High School, she attended the University of Washington in Seattle, graduating in 1969 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in speech in sociology. She attended law school at Gonzaga University in Spokane, receiving her Juris Doctor in 1977.

She went to work as an assistant attorney general in the office of state Attorney General Slade Gorton, a Republican. 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. Gregoire's first child, Courtney, was born in Spokane in 1979. Her second daughter, Michelle, was born in 1984. Michelle plays soccer for Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, and Governor Gregoire is proud to call herself a 'soccer mom'. She is a season ticket holder for Sounders FC.

When not in Olympia, Gregoire lives in the nearby suburb of Lacey with her husband Michael; the couple also spends part of most summers at a cabin on the shores of Hayden Lake, Idaho that the family bought in 1979. Their daughters, Michelle and Courtney, are both graduates of Olympia High School in Olympia, Washington.

In 2003, she was diagnosed with breast cancer in an early stage after a routine check-up and a mammogram. She had surgery and recovered. She mentions her fight with cancer in speeches about health care.


2008 re-election campaign

During the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries, Governor Gregoire was heavily lobbied by both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for her endorsement as a superdelegate. Gregoire officially endorsed Barack Obama on February 8, 2008, hours before an event at Key Arena in Seattle, Washington where she introduced Senator Obama before a crowd of18,000 people. The Washington caucuses were held the next day with Obama beating Clinton in every county in the state.

Governor Gregoire began her re-election campaign at her late mother's former employer, the Rainbow Café in Auburn, Washington, on April 7, 2008.Immediately after her announcement, Gregoire began a biodiesel bus tour of the State of Washington.Her opponent in the race, Dino Rossi, had announced his candidacy in October 2007.

Both Gregoire and her opponent fast approached fundraising records early in their campaigns.In April, Governor Gregoire hosted a fundraiser with Bill Richardson at the Seattle Westin which net the campaign over $300,000.Later, in July, Gregoire held another large fundraiser with Michelle Obama at the WaMu Theater with 1,600 attendees raising over $400,000

The Seattle Times later reported that Gregoire gave cost of living increases to state employees who had received no raises in "many years," and funded voter-approved initiatives to raise the pay of teachers, all groups that gave money to fund her 2004 recount campaign.

Gregoire won Washington's first ever top two primary on August 19, 2008 with 49%. She advanced to the general election against Dino Rossi. The general election on November 4 was expected to be close, but Gregoire benefited from a large turnout among Democrats to vote for Barack Obama in the United States Presidential election and ended up defeating Rossi 53% to 47%. There was a marked geographical split in the 2008 election: the more populous and Democratic-leaning Western Washington counties supported Gregoire, whilst the less populous and more Republican-leaning Eastern Washington counties supported Rossi.

In September 2010, Gregoire was one of seven governors to receive a grade of F in the Cato Institute's fiscal-policy report card.


Awards and honors

In 2009, the Governor became the recipient of a sort of tongue-in-cheek Fuse "Fizzle" Award. The awards program is aimed at promoting leadership and accountability in the Washington State Legislature.


2012 re-election campaign

On June 13, 2011, Gregoire announced she would not be seeking a third term.





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