Rob McKenna addresses 'get-a-job' confrontation over reproductive parity

The candidate for governor says no good can come of "ambush" questions.
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Rob McKenna

The candidate for governor says no good can come of "ambush" questions.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna described last week's "get-a-job" confrontation with a Democratic party volunteer as an "ambush."

McKenna's remarks today (May 1) addressed an incident that occurred April 24, as he left a fisheries conference in Seattle. A Democratic volunteer, Kendra Obom, caught up to McKenna on a sidewalk to ask him about his position of the the Reproductive Parity Act, a bill that died weeks ago in the state Senate.

When Obom, with a voice recorder, asked McKenna about his position on the bill, In reply, he told her to turned off the recorder, and accused her of "trying to bushwack me. It's not really very polite is it. ... Do you think you're honest?"

At the end of that conversation,he told Obom: "You're just trying to gain a political advantage, sorry. ... Why don't you get a job?"

Obom is a YMCA employee. Tailing opposing candidates with recorders is a routine political campaign practice.

News reports said McKenna later declared he opposed the bill because he believes it would jeopardize federal funding to Washington.

On Tuesday, McKenna unveiled his updated jobs creation plan at a press conference at the Tri-Tec Manufacturing Co. in Kent. At the press conference -- speaking to a handful of reporters whose job descriptions would essentially include chasing people down sidewalks to ask unwanted questions --  McKenna described the incident an "ambush."

"I think it is really sad that politics have come to this. ... ambushing people with a microphone," he said.

He also said, "There was no good intention whatsoever reflected in that sort of politics."


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About the Authors & Contributors

John Stang

John Stang

John Stang is a freelance writer who often covers state government and the environment. He can be reached on email at and on Twitter at @johnstang_8