CNN/TIME AllPolitics Vote '96

Governor's Race In Washington

Washignton Governor Race

OLYMPIA (AllPolitics, Oct. 30) -- King County Executive Gary Locke, the Democratic nominee, appears to be in good shape against Republican former state Sen. Ellen Craswell, although there are signs the race may be tightening.

Washington state's Democratic Gov. Mike Lowry decided not to seek a second term after a long battle over sexual harassment allegations. Locke

Locke, of Chinese descent, would become the first Asian-American governor on the nation's mainland if elected. A former state legislator, he was chairman of the state House Budget Committee before winning his current post, and he is widely viewed as an expert on fiscal issues. But his onetime support for a state income tax -- a position he has since recanted -- has caused him grief as the fall campaign has warmed up.

Locke is media savvy and seeks the limelight at every opportunity. Craswell, by contrast, has run close to the ground and relied almost exclusively on monthly financial contributions from individuals. She has used no media advertising, depending on billboards, yard signs and public appearances to broaden her exposure.


Craswell argues that state and federal governments should not be involved in education and that all schools should be operated on a tuition basis.

Locke, an ardent supporter of education throughout his political career, has strong support from teachers' groups in the state.

Craswell's unabashed outspokenness about religion has caused some discomfort in the generally moderate state, even among Republicans. Craswell has described herself as a "radical" and has vowed to hire only "wise and Godly people" as aides if she wins the race. She listed God at the top of her campaign's organizational chart.

But she may find some appeal among secular as well as religious voters with her promise to repeal more than one-third of all state taxes and cut 30 percent of the state budget.

Congressional Quarterly contributed to this report.

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