UPDATE: Public Radio reporter Austin Jenkins interviewed Gov. Gregoire about the Solicitor General gig. She says she wants to stay put in her job as governor.
The National Journal published a report today on the rumors going around that Gov. Chris Gregoire is on the list to replace President Obama's Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan as Solicitor General in the U.S. Dept. of Justice.
For the record: When we called Gov. Gregoire's office about this on Monday they scoffed at the rumor.
Today, they say it's still just a rumor and were suspect of anonymous White House sources, but they seemed less dismissive, saying only that Gregoire was still the governor.
If Gregoire was actually offered the Solicitor General job and took it, the process for replacing her is this: If she resigned before May 31, there would be a primary and a general election. If she resigned after May 31, but before October 3, there would be a winner takes all general election. If she resigned after October 3—who knows how long those Kagan hearings will take?—Lt. Gov. Brad Owen would be governor until 2012.
This, of course, raises all sorts of possible scenarios. Would Dino Rossi forget about his pending run against U.S. Sen. Patty Murray and duke it out with Attorney Genearl Rob McKenna in a GOP primary brawl to run for governor in the fall?
Would U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee stop running for reelection and jump into the fray against other Democratic hopefuls. State Sen. Majority Leader Sen. Lisa Brown (D-Spokane) had been considered a potential candidate, but two clumsy sessions in Olympia seem to have dimmed those rumors.
There are certainly lots of other ambitious Democrats: King County Executive Dow Constantine, Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon, and Speaker of the House Rep. Frank Chopp (D-Seattle)