Despite earlier talk, state schools superintendent Randy Dorn says he’ll forgo the 2016 race for governor.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn will forgo the 2016 gubernatorial race, despite earlier talk of using a candidacy as a platform to pressure Republicans and Democrats on the state’s school-funding woes.
Dorn said in an interview he couldn’t compete for a job with many responsibilities he did not want.
“If you are gonna run for governor you have to be all in with your head, your heart, your gut,” he said, adding he has no interest in running prisons or being blamed for traffic gridlock on Interstate 405.
Dorn argued he could have had a real shot of squeaking through the state’s top-two primary as an independent, nudging out Republican Bill Bryant and winding up in a November matchup with Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee.
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Such wishful thinking was not borne out by an Elway Poll last month, which found Dorn starting at just 7 percent support in a hypothetical three-way matchup, compared with 41 percent for Inslee and 26 percent for Bryant.
A former teacher and Democratic state legislator, Dorn was elected to the nonpartisan schools post in 2008 and 2012. He recently announced he would not seek a third term in that office.
Dorn said he’s not ready to endorse in the governor’s race, saying he wants to see a candidate who will tell the public it will take “new revenue” to fix the state’s school-funding problems.
He said he was encouraged by his conversation with Inslee on schools.
Washington is under a 2014 contempt citation from the state Supreme Court, which has found lawmakers failing to live up to their constitutional duty to fund public schools.
In August, the court began fining the state $100,000 a day for not providing a full funding plan. Legislative leaders this week approved a progress report to the court, acknowledging they have work to do.
The full menu of candidates for governor and other 2016 races will be set next week, when candidates officially file to run for office.