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Bryant blasts Inslee over problems at mental hospital

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Gov. Jay Inslee and Republican challenger Bill Bryant

SEATTLE — Washington state gubernatorial candidate Bill Bryant stood behind a table holding 25,000 keys and called on Gov. Jay Inslee to release reports on staffing and other problems at the state’s largest psychiatric hospital.

The keys represented the number of master keys that corrections officials discovered were missing from Western State Hospital during a security review in response to the escape of two violent patients. The corrections report was made public last week by The Associated Press.

Bryant, a Republican, on Wednesday blasted Inslee’s handling of problems at the 800-bed facility, saying the Democrat responded too late in most cases and failed to be transparent about the hospital’s many failings. Bryant said the public only learned about the problems from the media.

A message seeking comment from the Inslee campaign was not immediately returned.

This story will be updated.