As Washington’s 22nd governor, Chris Gregoire delivered real results to the people of Washington. Combining effective leadership with a tireless work ethic, she proved time and again that she has the courage and independence to stand up and fight for individuals and families.
Facing a $2.2 billion budget shortfall when she took office in 2005, Governor Gregoire balanced the state’s budget as she expanded health care coverage to low-income children, led an effort to make government more efficient and accountable, introduced a plan to create a world class education system, and launched a bold plan to save Puget Sound. In 2007, she proposed and the voters passed a constitutionally protected rainy day fund to help the state prepare for economic downturns.
Governor Gregoire introduced and won approval for a landmark transportation package to create jobs and address critical challenges with our roads and bridges. She established a dedicated fund to reduce class sizes, helped increase enrollments at our colleges and universities, and protected vital social services for the state’s most vulnerable individuals and families.
Governor Gregoire is committed to promoting and expanding business and creating family-wage jobs in the state of Washington. The governor’s “Next Washington” plan laid out strategies and initiatives to encourage business development and growth, and has helped lead to the creation of more than 200,000 jobs in Washington since she took office. Forbes magazine recently ranked Washington as the 2nd best state to do business. Fortune magazine recently ranked Washington in the top five to start a small business.
Reelected overwhelmingly by Washington voters in 2008 and facing a historic multi-billion dollar shortfall brought on by the uninterrupted and deep national recession, Governor Gregoire worked with the Legislature to balance the budget while supporting job creation and economic growth.
Prior to serving as governor, Gregoire was elected to three terms as attorney general (1993-2005) and was the first woman to be elected to the position in the State of Washington. From 1988-1992, Gregoire served as the director of the Washington Department of Ecology.
Chris O’Grady was raised in Auburn, Washington, by her mother, who worked as a short-order cook to support the family. She rode horses, picked blueberries and learned the value of hard work and a good education. After graduating from Auburn High School, Chris entered the University of Washington. She graduated with a teaching certificate and Bachelor of Arts degree in speech and sociology. She met her husband, Mike, in September 1971 when they both worked for the Washington Department of Social and Health Services. Chris received her law degree in 1977 from Gonzaga University.
Chris and Mike have two daughters, Courtney and Michelle. Courtney is married to Scott Lindsay, and is an attorney. Michelle is also an attorney.