National Journal reports:

WA Gov. Christine Gregoire (D) leads a short list to replace Solicitor General Elena Kagan, the WH has told members of Gregoire's home-state delegation.

Gregoire, a 2-term incumbent and a former WA AG, has been a rumored contender for other admin positions. But the WH has informed top aides to WA members that she is under serious consideration, according to several sources inside the delegation.

An admin official confirmed Gregoire's name is one of those being considered. Gregoire endorsed candidate Obama just before the WA caucuses in '08, offering a helping hand as Obama picked up two-thirds of the state's delegates.

The scary part:

Gregoire's appointment would elevate LG Brad Owen (D), a conservative Dem who has held his largely ceremonial post since '96. Several more prominent Dems have been angling to run for the state's top job in '12, when Gregoire was expected to pass on a third term.

At the Washington State Secretary of State's Office, Elections Director Nick Handy and Assistant Director Katie Blinn say that if the seat is vacated before October 3, the open seat will appear on the general election ballot. But they confirm that if Gregoire's seat is vacated after October 3, Owen—Brad Owen—could have the seat for more than two years.