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It’s official: Ferguson is running for governor and he has Inslee’s support

caption: Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson.
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Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson is officially running to be the state's next governor.

A Saturday kick-off event across three cities, featuring a range of Democratic allies, signaled the official start to his campaign. The icing on the cake was an endorsement from current Gov. Jay Inslee.

If you're scratching your head and are a bit confused, that is understandable. Hasn't Ferguson been running for governor for a few months now?

Technically, Ferguson announced in May that he was forming an exploratory committee to potentially run for governor.

RELATED: With 'epic' announcement, Hilary Franz enters race for Washington governor

RELATED: State Sen. Mark Mullet enters race for Washington governor

Ferguson's exploratory announcement looked a lot like a campaign announcement video, akin to what his Democratic competition released when they announced their campaigns for governor. Still, since spring, the conversation around Democrats running to be Washington governor has generally included exploratory Ferguson, as well as other high profile officials — Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz, and State Sen. Mark Mullet. Ferguson's campaign fundraising has also far exceeded his competition during this time.

And when Republican Dave Reichert entered the race for Washington governor in July, Ferguson was quick to go on the offensive, just like the other Democrats in this race.

As part of Saturday's kick-off festivities, Ferguson's campaign said Sept. 9 is the official start to their efforts. It was also a day for Ferguson to feature an array of endorsements across the state. Ferguson began the day in Spokane, then stopped for an afternoon event in the Tri-Cities. He finished the day at Seattle's Washington Hall, surrounded by King County Executive Dow Constantine, Congressmember Pramila Jayapal, Congressmember Suzane DelBene, King County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay, and former Gov. Christine Gregoire.

Gov. Inslee was also present, officially endorsing Ferguson to replace him after his current term is over. As quoted in The Seattle Times, Inslee said: "“I want to say that I don’t do this lightly. To endorse a position that I’ve been able to hold with immense honor for the past decade … is a big deal to me and my grandchildren.”

Gov. Inslee has also recently endorsed Nick Brown, who is running to take over the state's Attorney General's Office after the end of Ferguson's current term.

Following Inslee's endorsement of Ferguson, Mullet commented that, while he respects Gov. Inslee, he does have significant disagreements with the governor, and that, "Gov. Inslee’s endorsement of my opponent indicates there will be more of the same under his leadership."

Mullet has received endorsements from a range of elected officials, including Secretary of State Steve Hobbs, Seattle City Councilmember Sara Nelson, and Yakima Mayor Janice Deccio.

While Franz didn't comment directly on Inslee's endorsement, she did post one statement on the day of Ferguson's campaign kick off.

Franz has also been hyping endorsements of her own, largely from firefighter unions across the state. Recently, IAFF Local 1604 in Bellevue, and IAFF Local 1760 in Shoreline backed Franz.

"Bellevue firefighters are proud to join firefighters across the state in endorsing Hilary Franz for governor,” said Josh McCoy, firefighter and vice president of IAFF Local 1604 in a statement. “So many firefighters are lining up to support Hilary because we've had a front row seat to her leadership style during her time in office. She's a listener and a collaborator – not a politician looking to score political points, but a leader who's always looking to do the right thing for Washington."

Franz has also been endorsed by local leaders, such as Kirkland Mayor Penny Sweet, Wenatchee Mayor Frank Kuntz, and State Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos.

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