- Associated Press - Thursday, May 12, 2016

SEATTLE (AP) - Washington’s Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn said Thursday he will not run for governor.

The two-term superintendent had been mulling a challenge to Democratic incumbent Jay Inslee and said he was “push button” ready to announce his candidacy as late as last week before eventually deciding against it. Republican Bill Bryant is already running against Inslee.

Dorn’s main aim would have been meeting the state Supreme Court’s 2012 McCleary decision on education funding, and he has criticized Inslee for his leadership in education funding.

The high court ruled Washington doesn’t give school districts enough money to pay for education. Instead, districts rely too heavily on local levies to pay for their schools, according to the court. The state has been in contempt because of the Legislature’s failure to make a plan to fix how the state pays for education ahead of the court’s 2018 deadline.

Dorn said he was all in for funding education as governor, but said he didn’t have the heart to deal with other aspects of the job. He said he didn’t want to be responsible for state prisons, or have to deal with citizens complaining about highway tolling.

He added he didn’t want to run a negative campaign to win.

Though Dorn didn’t endorse either gubernatorial candidate Thursday, he said he would bet on Inslee “having a better vision and idea for what needs to be done” to satisfy the Supreme Court.

Dorn also won’t seek a third term as the state’s superintendent, but said he will continue to pressure the Legislature to meet the McCleary ruling. He’s planning to recommend the court sanction the Legislature for not making enough progress and might use other legal challenges to push lawmakers into fully fund education.

“I believe that the court has to get much tougher and create more pressure, put more sanctions on the Legislature and the governor,” he said.

A host of candidates are running to replace Dorn as state superintendent.



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