The Everett Herald reports that State Rep. Marko Liias (D-21, Edmonds), an environmental leader in the state legislature, plans to announce next week that he's running for the congressional seat currently held by US Rep. Jay Inslee (D-1). Inslee is widely expected to run for governor in 2012 if current Gov. Chris Gregoire does not run for reelection.

The Herald reports that Liias is "putting together an exploratory committee to assess his chances of winning though he’ll only run if Inslee does not seek re-election.
"Liias said the purpose of the exploratory committee 'is to determine if I am the right candidate and is this the right time. And it is definitely to send a signal inside Washington and outside the state that I’m serious about it.'”


Inslee's seat is also coveted by US Rep. Dennis Kucinich, who will stop in at a meeting of the 32nd District Democrats in Shoreline next week.
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