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Birthdate: Oct. 1, 1962
Birth Place: Fort Sam Houston, TX, United States
Residence: Bellevue, WA
Rob McKenna was born in Fort Sam Houston, Texas. His father was an Army officer, and McKenna's family moved to various places around the globe _ Germany, Bangkok, San Francisco and Kansas _ before settling in Bellevue, Wash., where he currently resides. McKenna received a bachelor's degree from the University of Washington, where he was student body president, and a law degree from the University of Chicago.
He began his professional life as a private attorney in the late 1980s and was elected to the King County Council in 1996.
He was elected as Washington's attorney general in 2004 and has served as president of the National Association of Attorneys General.
McKenna and his wife, Marilyn, have four children.
Rob McKenna, a two-term Washington state attorney general, is considered by Republicans to be the best hope to win the governor's office in nearly three decades.
McKenna, who has methodically moved up the political ranks from student body president at the University of Washington, to county councilman, to attorney general, will face Democrat Jay Inslee, in November 2012, in what is considered one of the most competitive governor's races in the nation.
The last time the state elected a Republican governor was in 1984.
Since his election as Washington's attorney general in 2004, McKenna has targeted meth use, gangs, sex offenders, identity theft and Internet predators. More recently, as president of the National Association of Attorneys General, he led a national effort to combat human trafficking. He said he had success passing legislation on his major issues because he built bipartisan relationships in the Legislature.
However, he angered state Democrats when he joined in with other GOP attorneys general in seeking to have the 2010 health care reform bill overturned.
When the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the law in June 2012, he said that while he was disappointed by the decision, Congress shouldn't try to repeal it.
McKenna advanced through Washington state's "top two" primary with 43 percent of the vote, compared to Inslee's 47 percent.
McKenna jumped into the race last summer, around the same time Gov. Chris Gregoire announced she wouldn't seek a third term. He was immediately considered the frontrunner, and led in polls for the first year of the campaign.
However two polls in August 2012 showed Inslee taking a lead over McKenna for the first time.
McKenna has promised to increase funding for public education and restoring funding to higher education without raising taxes.
He has said, though, that the state will need to pursue a new revenue package to pay for transportation projects _ an idea mostly championed by Gregoire, a Democrat.
McKenna splits with Inslee on some major issues: He supports charter schools while Inslee does not. Inslee supports gay marriage while McKenna opposes it.
Source: Associated Press
113th Congress on Twitter
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