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Chief political reporter David Postman explores state, regional and national politics.

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October 25, 2007 11:12 AM

Rossi announces

Posted by David Postman

Dino Rossi is now making his entrance into the governor's race official. Earlier he talked to the AP and KOMO TV.

He said he has moved on from his razor-thin loss to Gov. Christine Gregoire, and is launching a different sort of campaign today.

"Running against an incumbent is very different than running for an open seat because now an incumbent has a record," Rossi said in an interview with KOMO News. "It's fair to compare and contrast what the incumbent's done with what you want to do."

Rossi said he's upbeat about his chance.

"In 2004, I was introducing myself to the public and probably 80 percent of the people thought `Dino Rossi' was some kind of wine," he said in the interview. "Now that Gregoire is an incumbent, I will compare and contrast what she has done and what I will do. She has left a trail of broken promises."

I asked Rossi's campaign staff Wednesday if it'd be possible to get a copy of the remarks this morning. His spokeswoman, Jill Strait, said they would not be releasing anything other than a video of his speech that would be posted on the campaign Web site later.

But apparently some reporters were given an advance look at the speech. (I'm not sure what I did to already be out of favor even before Rossi announces.) The AP story says:

In comments prepared for his kickoff announcement, he took direct aim at Gregoire and described himself as a new leader for a new era.

"The state government we set out to change four years ago is more expensive and less effective at solving our problems," Rossi said. "It's going to take new leadership in Olympia."

He said he'll speak out against what he sees as Gregoire's biggest failures, including tax and budget policy, transportation, foster care, education financing, and dealing with criminals. He said he'll offer effective leadership on all those issues.

"The governor for the government has had her turn. We can do better," he said.

"This isn't just another election. It isn't just about Christine Gregoire or Dino Rossi. It's about whether we have the courage to try something new."

I will be interested to see if he offers any details today on those issues he lists as Gregoire's failures. Election day is a long way off, but we haven't heard much specific from Rossi in a long time and I hope we'll be able to start filling in some gaps.

MORE: Strait says that reporters were given quotes from the speech in a press release. The text of the speech was handed out to those who attended the session, but it won't be e-mailed to others. I've never seen a campaign, or any other organization, making such a distinction.

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