Aero group that endorsed McKenna backs Inslee, too

By Michelle Dunlop Herald Writer

A major aerospace industry group in Washington decided Wednesday to endorse Democrat Jay Inslee for governor.

That’s after endorsing Republican Rob McKenna for governor on July 26.

Last month, the Aerospace Futures Alliance touted its backing of McKenna as its first-ever political endorsement.

But apparently some AFA board members gave McKenna the OK because they were under the impression that Inslee turned down an interview with them, according to this report by The Seattle Times.

Inslee communications director Sterling Clifford reiterated in an interview Wednesday that Inslee had not turned down a meeting with the AFA.

“Our process was complicated,” said Linda Lanham, AFA executive director. “Time kept dragging on. Jay finally got in to see us today.”

Lanham noted the difficulty in coordinating schedules for political candidates and all of AFA’s board members, which include representatives from the Boeing Co., Everett Community College, Mukilteo’s ElectroImpact of Mukilteo and Aviation Technical Services of Everett.

After meeting with Inslee today, “the decision was made to endorse both candidates,” Lanham said. “It was just in the best interest of the industry to endorse both.”

Clifford declined to comment on whether AFA’s late endorsement of the Democrat lessened its impact.

However, Herald political writer Jerry Cornfield asked McKenna whether AFA’s decision to back both candidates made the original endorsement of him alone less significant.

McKenna’s answer: Yes.