Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announces 2020 presidential bid

Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee announced that he is running for President, launching a bid in which he intends to make combating climate change the central rationale for his campaign.

Posted: Mar 1, 2019 8:22 AM
Updated: Mar 1, 2019 9:45 AM


Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee announced Friday that he is running for President, launching a bid in which he intends to make combating climate change the central rationale for his campaign.

Inslee announced the bid in a video made public on Friday. He is slated to hold a news conference in Seattle at a solar panel installer to expand upon his presidential announcement. He will be surrounded by friends, family and business owners who the campaign says have benefited from his climate policies in the state.

'I'm Jay Inslee and I'm running for president because I am the only candidate who will make defeating climate change our nation's number one priority,' the governor says in a more-than-a-minute-long video that highlights his decades-long focus on climate change and compares tackling the issue to President John F. Kennedy's focus on going to the moon.

'We're the first generation to feel the sting of climate change. And we're the last that can do something about it,' Inslee adds. 'We can do this. Join our movement. This is our moment.'

The video ends with a string of straight-to-camera videos from voters and supporters saying, 'Our moment.' Among those featured is Bill Nye, the popular television star known as 'Bill Nye the Science Guy,' who often talks about climate change.

Inslee has been upfront about the fact that he has been exploring a presidential run for months. He now enters a crowded presidential field that boasts 12 other Democrats, including six senators, and could grow to more than 15 Democratic candidates in the coming months.

He will headquarter his campaign in Seattle, making his campaign the only 2020 operation to date to be based on the West Coast. He will follow up Friday's announcement with a trip to Iowa and Nevada in the coming days, an adviser added.

Inslee, who served as head of the Democratic Governors Association in 2018, traveled the country stumping for Democrats running for governor that year, but also used the trips to talk to Democrats about his platform focused on climate change. Inslee has told reporters and people close to him that he has been emboldened by what he has heard from those Democrats and believes there is a hunger in the country for someone with a singular focus on climate change.

'We know we have to have a candidate who will make climate change and building a clean energy economy a central focus, an organizing principle for the American people and we need a president who will do the same,' Inslee told CNN in February.

'I am excited about this because, as I have traveled the country, I hear people waiting for the bugle call from the White House,' Inslee continued. 'We heard it from Kennedy when he said we are going to go to the moon. We need a similar bugle call to the American people on this.'

Inslee has been in elected office for much of the last three decades. He was first elected to the Washington House of Representatives in 1989 and was first elected to the US House of Representatives in 1992. Inslee, though, lost his re-election bid in 1994, an election cycle called the 'Republican Revolution' after the party picked up 54 seats in the House.

After a failed 1996 gubernatorial election, he successfully ran for Congress again in 1998, a job he held until he successfully ran for governor in 2012.

Inslee, by raising the minimum wage in Washington state, helping to pass a statewide paid family leave law and enacting a moratorium on the death penalty, has been an outspoken progressive executive since he became governor in 2013. But his profile truly rose after the election of President Donald Trump. After the President's inauguration in 2017, Inslee became a vocal opponent of the Republican leader, including by suing him after Trump tried to ban immigration from several Muslim majority countries.

Although Inslee has looked to make Washington state more carbon neutral during his time in office -- including by investing in a statewide fund that looks to help business go green in Washington -- the governor failed to enact a statewide carbon tax in 2018, delivering a stinging defeat for environmentalists after years of attempts to curb climate change through economic incentives. The proposal, which voters rejected by 13 percentage points, would have levied a tax of $15 per metric ton of carbon emissions, making Washington the first state in the nation to raise the cost of fossil-fuel-intensive activities.

Inslee's time as chair of the Democratic Governors Association during the 2018 cycle helped raise his profile, too. The year saw Democrats pick up seven governorships across the country, a fact that the governor has touted in the wake of the midterm elections.

He faces a significant level of skepticism from Republicans on climate change. Trump, as President, has left the Paris Climate Accord and has said he does not believe government reports that cast grave warnings about the impact of climate change. Republicans now hope to make Democrats' focus on the issue, namely through the newly proposed Green New Deal, central in their attacks against the party in 2020.

Inslee largely dismisses Trump's comments on climate change, arguing that the President doesn't understand where the American people are on the issue, especially young people.

'Donald Trump, fundamentally, is just fearful and pessimistic,' he told CNN. 'He doesn't think we are smart enough to do this. He is just wrong about the American people.'

Inslee has praised the Green New Deal, saying it is 'raising people's ambitions' and 'making what might seem impossible within the realm of the possible,' but the governor has not outright said he would support the entire package.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 733591

Reported Deaths: 13466
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1003871748
Lake54020975
Allen40829679
St. Joseph35898552
Hamilton35735408
Elkhart28745442
Tippecanoe22432219
Vanderburgh22342397
Porter18871310
Johnson18028381
Hendricks17283315
Clark13015191
Madison12725339
Vigo12482248
LaPorte12011214
Monroe11928170
Delaware10726187
Howard9959218
Kosciusko9451117
Hancock8325142
Bartholomew8085156
Warrick7792155
Floyd7677178
Grant7080174
Wayne7064199
Boone6722101
Morgan6596139
Dubois6162117
Marshall6083112
Cass5839105
Dearborn582178
Henry5767104
Noble563684
Jackson502773
Shelby493696
Lawrence4571120
Harrison436372
Gibson436292
DeKalb429685
Clinton428153
Montgomery425389
Whitley397439
Huntington393380
Steuben390057
Miami382668
Knox372690
Jasper370148
Putnam362360
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Jefferson331581
White315654
Daviess298299
Wells291981
Decatur285692
Fayette281662
Greene280085
Posey271933
LaGrange268370
Scott267254
Clay260647
Washington241832
Randolph241481
Spencer232631
Jennings230649
Starke217854
Fountain213246
Sullivan212142
Owen202156
Jay196730
Fulton195640
Carroll189620
Orange184154
Perry184037
Rush173725
Vermillion169743
Franklin168435
Tipton163045
Parke146616
Blackford135132
Pike135134
Pulaski117145
Newton108334
Brown102641
Crawford101315
Benton99014
Martin89515
Warren82415
Switzerland7938
Union71110
Ohio57111
Unassigned0417

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1089357

Reported Deaths: 19528
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1265611406
Cuyahoga1129542134
Hamilton803281211
Montgomery517261015
Summit47483955
Lucas42491792
Butler38487585
Stark32544909
Lorain25135486
Warren24359300
Mahoning21735588
Lake20791371
Clermont19844240
Delaware18582133
Licking16470212
Fairfield16284200
Trumbull16141468
Medina15341266
Greene15128244
Clark14062299
Wood13153189
Portage12930206
Allen11713232
Richland11414199
Miami10706220
Wayne8900214
Columbiana8859229
Muskingum8824133
Pickaway8589121
Marion8553136
Tuscarawas8500245
Erie7937155
Hancock6935128
Ashtabula6871172
Ross6871156
Geauga6724148
Scioto6431102
Belmont5960168
Union572948
Lawrence5583102
Jefferson5566151
Huron5453120
Darke5372126
Sandusky5369122
Seneca5305122
Washington5213109
Athens520458
Auglaize494586
Mercer481185
Shelby470193
Knox4506110
Madison438263
Putnam4297101
Fulton425969
Ashland425190
Defiance423997
Crawford3989107
Brown396657
Logan383076
Preble381098
Clinton373863
Ottawa368181
Highland356262
Williams342575
Champaign334658
Guernsey317353
Jackson313752
Perry295750
Morrow286839
Fayette282950
Hardin271564
Henry270266
Coshocton265657
Holmes2621101
Van Wert243963
Adams239553
Pike238034
Gallia236449
Wyandot232055
Hocking216062
Carroll192148
Paulding173940
Meigs145240
Noble133737
Monroe132542
Harrison109237
Morgan108523
Vinton84215
Unassigned02
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