After some behind-the-scenes blowback over its endorsement of Republican Rob McKenna in the governor’s race, an influential aerospace group decided Wednesday to also endorse Democrat Jay Inslee.
The Aerospace Futures Alliance board met with Inslee for more than an hour Wednesday to discuss his record on aerospace issues and his plans as governor. The group decided to endorse him, and a formal announcement will be made Thursday, according to Sterling Clifford, Inslee’s communications director. (The AFA’s executive director, Linda Lanham, also confirmed the endorsement flipflop this afternoon to the Everett Herald.)
The move effectively neutralizes the group’s earlier, sole endorsement of McKenna.
As we reported Tuesday, the move comes after allies of Inslee made their displeasure known to AFA for its sole endorsement last month of McKenna, despite the favors that powerful Demoratic politicians have done for Boeing and the aviation industry in recent years. It was the AFA’s first ever political endorsement in a gubernatorial race.
The Inslee camp said he had not been invited to speak with the AFA board prior to the McKenna endorsement, even though sources said some board members were led to believe he had turned down a chance to speak to the group. Lanham did not respond to calls for comment.