Chris Gregoire left the Governor s office three months ago. Saturday, she told KING 5 she would not have been there without fellow Fmr. Governor Booth Gardner.

Booth gave me a shot when no one else would ve thought of my name, Fmr. Gov. Gregoire said during an interview at the steps of the State Supreme Court.

Gregoire was an Assistant Attorney General when Gardner appointed her to the head of the state Department of Ecology. From there, she became Attorney General and later Governor.

He was my personal mentor, Gregoire continued, I tried to emulate what he taught me when he served as Governor.

Gardner, 76, died Saturday after a long battle with Parkinson s Disease. Gregoire recalled her last meeting with him several months ago.

My last time...was one of his great days, she explained, adding he was still able to talk at the time, We all saw Booth as Governor. We never saw that tenacity. We never saw that courage.

Though news of Gardner s death was not unexpected to those closest to him, his passing was nonetheless sad, said Gregoire.

I have struggled with the possibility this day would come, knowing that it would but knowing that it s better for Booth and for his family.

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