Washington AG Bob Ferguson announces campaign for governor

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson launched an exploratory campaign for governor on Tuesday, one day after incumbent Jay Inslee announced he won't run again.

The Democrat's campaign ad, posted on YouTube, touts his work in an ongoing lawsuit seeking to ease restrictions on abortion medication and history of pushing for stronger gun control laws.

“I’ve never been afraid to take on big fights,” Ferguson wrote in a Twitter post announcing the campaign.

Ferguson, 58, is a former member of the King City Council who is in his third term as attorney general. He gained a national profile by challenging the travel ban and other policies of former President Donald Trump.

In a YouTube video posted Tuesday, Ferguson said the key to winning in Washington is working with residents at the grassroots level across the state.

“Washingtonians must have the freedom to make their own health care decisions," Ferguson said, "to be safe, to breathe clean air and drink clean water, to be free from discrimination, to start a small business, to make a living wage and have a safe work environment, to have opportunities to succeed in all kinds of careers."

State Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz, a Democrat, has also expressed interest in running for governor.

Gov. Inslee announced Monday that he would not seek a fourth term. At 72, the Democrat is the longest-serving governor in office in the U.S., and is only the second Washington governor to be elected to three consecutive terms.