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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Outgoing Washington Governor Leaves Behind Insider's Guide

Office of the Governor

OLYMPIA, Wash. – When Washington Governor-elect Jay Inslee is sworn in this January he’ll get more than just the keys to the office. Outgoing Governor Chris Gregoire plans to leave behind a book for future governors to consult when it starts feeling lonely at the top.

In the midst of the Great Recession, Gregoire went in search of wisdom from past governors. Her chief of staff Marty Loesch says Gregoire consulted the state archives.

“And found there’s just precious little there to provide guidance to somebody like her who was facing those kinds of challenges,“ Loesch says.

So the Democratic governor decided put together an insider’s guide to governing. Loesch says the book is broken down by subject matter, like education and health care, with a special emphasis on managing through an economic crisis. What Gregoire thought worked and didn’t work.

“Her question was 'what do I wish I would have had that would have helped me make some of these decisions?' And 'I want to leave that.'”

Loesch says the governor has asked each state agency director to produce a similar hand-off document as part of the transition to a new governor.

On the Web:

Video: Gov. Chris Gregoire's exit interview with Inside Olympia

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."