Outgoing Washington Governor Leaves Behind Insider’s Guide

Dec 13, 2012

When Washington Governor-elect Jay Inslee is sworn in this January he’ll get more than just the keys to the office. Outgoing Governor Chris Gregoire plans to leave behind a book for future governors to consult when it starts feeling lonely at the top.

Outgoing Washington Governor Chris Gregoire
Credit Office of the Governor

In the midst of the Great Recession, Gregoire went in search of wisdom from past governors. Her chief of staff Marty Loesch says Gregoire consulted the state archives.

“And found there’s just precious little there to provide guidance to somebody like her who was facing those kinds of challenges," Loesch says.

So the Democratic governor decided to put together an insider’s guide to governing. Loesch says the book is broken down by subject matter, like education and health care, with a special emphasis on managing through an economic crisis. What Gregoire thought worked and didn’t work.

“Her question was 'what do I wish I would have had that would have helped me make some of these decisions?' and I want to leave that," Loesch says.

Loesch says the governor has asked each state agency director to produce a similar hand-off document as part of the transition to a new governor.