Associated Press and are reporting Monday morning that sources close to Washington State Gov. Christine Gregoire are saying that she will announce this morning that she will not seek a third term.

The office of Washington state Gov. Christine Gregoire sent out a notice earlier today for a 10:00 a.m. news conference in which she will announce her “future plans.”

Gregoire’s decision sets the stage for a Democrat to enter the race to fill her office. First Congressional District Rep. Jay Inslee (D) has long been rumored to be in a holding pattern on making his own announcement of candidacy, a statement that could perhaps now come within the week. Persistent rumors have also mentioned King County Executive Dow Constantine as a possible Democratic gubernatorial candidate.

The 2012 governor’s race in Washington State officially kicked off last week after months of backstage pacing by incumbent Attorney General Rob McKenna (R), a decision that has already set in motion a cascading series of decisions within the GOP. Beginning with declarations to run for the office McKenna will vacate (numerous Republican sources say current King County Councilman Reagan Dunn will soon announce his candidacy for Washington AG), politicians across the state will begin to set their sights on open seats in higher offices.


[photo credit: flickr]