New Ad Blasts Governor Christine Gregoire - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

New Ad Blasts Governor Christine Gregoire

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PASCO, Wash-- Leading up to Decision 2008, Governor Christine Gregoire made a campaign stop in the Tri-Cities and got her hands dirty.

The governor was making tortillas at a Mexican restaurant in Pasco.  It is the first stop on her weeklong tour leading up to next week's primary.  But her arrival in the Tri-Cities was overshadowed by a new radio ad from the Benton County Republican Party.

The minute-long ad, which began running Wednesday, tackles a little talked about issue on the political platform: the Areva uranium enrichment plant.

The Benton County Republican Chairman Patrick McBurney says the governor failed to step up her leadership and push harder for the plant to be built in Richland.  It will now be built in Idaho.

McBurney says the governor "did not stand up for the Tri-Cities when we needed her to stand up."

Governor Gregoire calls the ad "saddening" adding, "we have made amazing progress here.  It's time to talk about the issues and the positive things that have happened.  I'll put my record out as governor of this state for the last three-and-a-half years to anybody."

McBurney is not convinced, however, the governor has acted in the best interests of state residents.  He says losing the plant could have boosted the economy by as much as $30 million and would have created hundreds of new jobs. 

"If you have an extra $30 million in payroll, that's money that goes into small businesses.  As people go to the 711 and buy their slurpees and go out to eat, it's part of our economy," said McBurney.

He adds it was a "failure in leadership."