As Washington’s 22nd governor, Chris Gregoire delivered real results to the people of Washington. Combining effective leadership with a tireless work ethic, she has shown time and again that she has the courage and independence to stand up and fight for individuals and families. She was first elected in 2004, re-elected in 2008 and served through 2012.
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 like we face today.
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.
Reelected overwhelmingly by Washington voters in 2008 and facing an historic $5.7 billion shortfall brought on by a deepening national recession, Governor Gregoire held her promise to the people by proposing a balanced budget while maintaining her priorities of protecting families and kids the best we can.
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, married to Scott Lindsay, is an attorney and Michelle is in law school.