Local Politics

Conservative ties muddy McKenna's moderate appeal

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Over the past decade, Rob McKenna has cast himself as a moderate fit to lead Washington state's Democratic-leaning residents.

At the same time, he has also worked closely with conservatives that might give some independents pause: He raised money for President George W. Bush, touted his work for members of the American Legislative Exchange Council and has attended tea party events to talk about the Constitution.

Now, part of McKenna's quest for governor has been a public relations battle over whether his views are too conservative for Washington state.

A political action committee funded by unions has been running attack ads with the message that McKenna is "not who he says he is." McKenna, meanwhile has worked to tout the support he has from some Democrats, a union of public school employees and an independent education group.