State auditor Brian Sonntag just told KOMO 4 News that he will run for governor if Gov. Chris Gregoire is appointed to replace US Solicitor General Elana Kagan by the Obama Administration. Obama has nominated Kagan to the Supreme Court.

Rumors have been circulating that Gregoire is on Obama's short list for the position. However, Gregoire said yesterday that she wants to keep her position as governor.

If Gregoire did leave for Washington, her job would transfer to Lieutenant Gov. Brad Owen, a conservative Democrat and 14-year incumbent. Sonntag, also a conservative Democrat, has been supported in the past by Tim Eyman and last year endorsed Republican Susan Hutchison over now-King County Executive (and Democrat) Dow Constantine.