first_imgSEATTLE — Helping Democrat Jay Inslee defeat Republican Rob McKenna in the gubernatorial race is a higher priority for the statewide teachers’ union this year than whether voters approve public charter schools.“I think it’s pretty clear that we have a real priority in making sure that we get someone elected as governor who will put kids first,” said Mary Lindquist, president of the Washington Education Association.The political action committee for the Washington Education Association is one of the top contributors to a group called OUR Washington, which is behind the pro-Inslee TV ad series purporting to show “The Real Rob McKenna.”The WEA PAC has contributed $500,000 of the $5 million raised as of this week for that effort, while the National Education Association has put in another $500,000, according to reports filed with the state Public Disclosure Commission. The political action committee gets its cash from donations by teachers, about a third of whom support the political activities of their union.That makes the state and national teachers’ unions the biggest supporters of those ads after the Democratic Governors Association.Lindquist said the WEA focused its money on the governor’s race — as well as keeping lawmakers in office who understand the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on school spending — because it believes the main problem facing Washington schools is a lack of a reliable funding source.last_img read more