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Washington Blog

Why I'm really voting for Rob McKenna


I'm a Democrat, I've always voted for Democrats, but this year I'm voting for Rob McKenna for Governor.

Education is my top priority  

Why? The short answer is that education is my top priority and -- after talking to both McKenna and Inslee -- I found that Rob McKenna knows more about the challenges facing our schools, he has a stronger and more detailed plan to improve graduation rates and close the achievement gap, and I believe him when he says that he will make education a top priority for the state. 

My family and my future

The long answer is a little more complicated. When I'm voting for governor, I'm thinking about my family and our future: my two kids in public schools, the local economy in my neighborhood, and our quality of life in Washington state -- where we are now and where we could be.  

Like many of you, I'm not just a single-issue voter. Education is my top priority, but Rob McKenna also had to convince me that he would respect voter-approved initiatives on a woman's right to choose and marriage equality and that he would implement the Affordable Care Act. I can honestly say that I am convinced.

I may disagree with Rob on some issues (just like I did with Gov. Gregoire) but I know that he will uphold the law and respect the voters. I don't just believe Rob McKenna, I believe in him. 

Moving past party labels

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that my hesitations had more to do with party labels than with who Rob McKenna really is. That's when I wrote the People Over Party Politics blog post  - because it's time for us to move past the old politics of division and start working together

Like Governor Dan Evans, Rob McKenna is independent, straightforward and effective. That's the kind of leadership we need right now.

What you should know about Rob

  • Rob McKenna has executive experience and a record of getting things done. Rob McKenna knows how Olympia works and how to make it work  - he's passed bipartisan bills as Attorney General, and he successfully managed a state agency that helps Washingtonians every single day. Because of Rob, we have some of the strongest laws against sex offenders and domestic violence perpetrators, and that means our families and our communities stay safe. 
  • Rob McKenna is smarter than me. That might seem like a weird thing to say, but I want our governor to be a person who thinks strategically, who is a problem-solver and who is smart about how he approaches the budget, the interest groups, and the long-term planning for the future of our state. Rob McKenna is that smart. 
  • Rob McKenna will make the tough choices we need to improve our schools and get better results for our kids. The sad fact is that Democrats have controlled the governor's office since 1985, and in that time school funding has been slashed, our graduation rates have been stuck and the achievement gap between low- and high-income students has gotten worse. Right now, Washington is 46th in the nation in per-pupil spending and one of only nine states that ban charter schools. Our State Supreme Court finally had to step in and say that we're not doing a good job. Our kids can't wait any longer  - it's time for a new direction. 

I hope you'll join me in voting for Rob McKenna for Governor this November. 

Thank you.



Thanks for this post. Now I know I no longer need to subscribe to your organization in any way, shape or form.
Agreed. Done with this org.
Yep. Bad news.
Really, you will throw the baby out with the bathwater on this just because you disagree with one persons personal opinion and vote? Your so committed to the letter behind the name that you won't consider the substance of the argument? It seems to me you should support organizations who are committed to their mission to the point of doing what they can to actually change outcomes rather than blindly support one party or the other.
I absolutely agree with you, Shannon! I am not a Democrat but I very much appreciate someone who is able to look past the "D" or the "R" and vote for the best candidate. He absolutely has the best plan for our education system and the track record of working with others to get things done. Excellent post.
He may be good for those with young children but for those of us with kids in college he is no good at all... he wants to cut funding to programs that assist those of us who are not wealthy. Social programs?? out the window. btw... I have worked ever since I was 15... I can afford to help my son with some of the expenses of school but not all..He's smart, capable and willing. I don't want to see the opportunity for him to succeed go out the window.
Actually, Rob plans to restore funding for our colleges and universities and make tuition more affordable. Here's more:
Not good for those with young kids, either. I'm an elementary school teacher. Educators are NOT supporting him as a whole. He is for bad things for kids.
Rob's mom was a school teacher and he has 4 kids of his own, all of whom have gone through public schools. He's also been volunteering in local public schools for the past 20 years. That all sounds like good things to me.
Thanks for this thought-provoking and unexpected post. I found it via Facebook, and it is inspiring me to learn more about both candidates, and read the sources you link to. I'm with you that education is critical, but need to be sure health care, marriage equality, and women's rights are also advancing.
I AGREED!!! We can no longer wait. I have been raising three children for past twenty years. As a parent of three children I have had the privileged to experience, two public school districts, four private school and an international school in a different Country and I am 100 % sure that we as Washingtonians are NOT doing a good job educating our children. Wishing our children can vote and have their own unions so their voices can be heard and they can be part of a fair process in the education system.
I,too, believe that Rob McKenna wants to improve our public schools. Who doesn't? But he has been a stalwart opponent of any revenue increasing measures (i.e., income taxes,) that would put some bite behind his bark. I think that his support of charter schools may be the big draw here, for Stand For Children? I can't help thinking of all the children helped by the healthcare reform that Rob McKenna went out of his way to try to strike down.
You rock, Shannon.
Thanks for looking past party labels and choosing the candidate you feel has the best qualifications and track record needed to propose and initiate solutions to the problems facing this state in a pragmatic, non-partisan way. A bonus that I appreciate is Rob McKenna's commitment to personal integrity. He is the clear choice for Washingtonians in this election.
I completely agree. I almost always vote for Democrats, but Rob McKenna is by far the better candidate in this election. Sometimes have to move past our own prejudices of party labels and vote for the candidate that is willing to take a stand to change things for the better. I may not agree with him on everything, but the things I do agree with him on -- education being the primary one -- are far too important for us to turn out back on. Thanks, Shannon.
First off, I found your argument to be both strong and well-constructed, which is all too scarce in political discourse today. Agree or disagree, as a former journalist, this alone makes your argument stand out amd I sincerely hope more will see that. Second, I fully agree with your idea that party labels are disructive. As someone who leans more in favor of the Republican party, I have seen first-hand too many who consider any Democrat, or heaven forbid liberal, as enemies of America. This is especially the case now, during a tulmoluous election year. I have several friends who are both liberal and Democrat, and although we disagree, I don't consider them to be anti-American. In fact, quite the opposite. I got the same impression in your article. In short, it took courage to write this piece, and I applaude you for doing so. It is my sincere hope that your readers and supporters will look beyond the candidate's party affiliation, and see the sound reasoning behind your decision.
I am a democrat. I am voting for one republican candidate this election. I really, truly will not consider voting for Mr. McKenna. He is a quick talker and a fast mental processor, and I fear some may be fooled into believing this is superior to someone who thinks a little longer and speaks a little more slowly. If you listen to the message from McKenna, you hear the echoes of a yesteryear, when women's rights were secondary and when workers had no voice. I hope the voters are smarter than that.
Thank you so much for posting this! It takes real courage to talk about a candidate as a person instead of just a mash up of attack ads and party lines. I'm not a super political person, and I really appreciate how personal this is for you. I'm going to think more about McKenna.
Shannon, I too have been a Dem. all my life. I will NEVER vote for a DEM. that voted for oboma care. Inslee or ANY the others,Rep. or Dem. KNOWS ALL that is in that piece of---- whatever. even the dumb woman who said"vote for it then know what is in it". How can ANY ONE represent their area,USA, and vote for some thing they DONT know what is in it.
Where's the money? I might actually vote for a candidate who takes one piece of paper and shows the specific sources of $ for schools. Vague promises about reforming state spending don't cut it, because then voters don't have the opportunity to weight those choices against the money for schools.
Good question. McKenna has provided far more specifics than Inslee, but where the money comes from is still a major question to be answered in the next legislative session.
Knowing that Shannon Campion is someone's child and the mother of two children keeps me from saying---in very direct, uncensored language---what I really think of this person. Ugh. She makes me ill. Because of her, and the egregious lies she told in order to push the vile---and soon to be declared unconstitutional---I-1240 over the finish line, the hours I COULD have spent volunteering at my child's school, helping with activities ranging from reading and math assistance to fundraising, now have to go out the window so I can watch, with every free hour, what this group of miscreants and privatizers are going to do in their effort to make Washington---my home---as messed up as Indiana, Florida, Michigan, Texas and so many other states that are increasingly being taken over by private, corporate entities. How much silver did you accept to sell out and betray the other parents of our state, Shannon? Shame on you. Shame on you. Your work is disgusting, as is this entire sham of an organization know as "Stand On Children". Sick. Vile. Heinous.