It’s official: Inslee is running

Washington’s governor will make climate change a key component of his campaign

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced Friday he would be running for President of the United States, confirming what many political spectators had been expecting for months.

Inslee made the announcement in a campaign video that showed a montage of him talking about climate change throughout his career. Ever since rumors started swirling about Inslee making a run, it was thought he would run on a climate change platform. Friday’s announcement leaves no doubt about what his priorities will be.

“We’re the first generation to feel the sting of climate change, and we’re the last that can do something about it,” Inslee said in the video. “We went to the moon and created technologies that have changed the world. Our country’s next mission must be to rise up to the most urgent challenge of our time — defeating climate change.”

Inslee’s announcement comes after several other Democratic candidates have already entered the race, including Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, California Sen. Kamala Harris and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. A poll released by Morning Consult on Feb. 26 showed of those who have declared, Sanders is the clear frontrunner with 27 percent of early primary and general primary voters supporting him. This is around 26 points higher than Harris in both polls.

Former Vice President Joe Biden has not announced whether he will run for the Democratic nomination, but results from both polls show if he were to announce, he would poll slightly higher than Sanders. However, Inslee has attracted hardly any interest from primary voters, with only 1 percent of early primary voters saying they would vote for him. This puts the governor on par with other contenders with little support like Tulsi Gabbard, Sherrod Brown and Michael Bloomberg. In total, there are 14 Democrats and one Republican — former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld — who are running in the 2020 election.

Even if he doesn’t win in primaries next year, the 68-year-old Inslee may be running to make climate change a priority for Democratic legislators. According to a Gallup poll from November, around three-quarters of Democratic voters said climate change was a priority, but when ranked against other concerns, only around 53 percent of all voters placed an emphasis on it. Climate change ranked much lower than health care, the economy and immigration as well as below trade and tariff policies.

Inslee’s fundraising political action committee, Vision PAC, had raised more than $242,000 in contributions as of the last filing from Dec. 31. Inslee’s record on his climate agenda in Washington state will likely be covered extensively over the next year and a half on the nomination campaign trail, which could be affected by current legislation moving through Olympia. This includes some $273 million in green energy spending he hopes will pass.

The state Senate approved SB 5116 on March 1, which would help move the state’s energy away from dirty energy. A companion bill is still in the House Appropriations Committee. In particular, the bills would end the use of coal-fired electricity and transition the state’s electricity supply to carbon neutral sources by 2045. It would additionally create a climate policy advisory committee to develop further recommendations for the Legislature.

If Inslee is successful in pushing green legislation, it could bolster his run for president and give him a policy to hang his hat on. While Inslee has been long on talk about the environment, attempts at carbon pricing have twice failed while he has been in office and carbon emissions in the state continue to rise.

In a news conference March 1 in Seattle, Inslee said Americans should embrace tackling climate change.

“We do not fear a challenge, we embrace it,” he said, according to a WNPA Olympia News Bureau report. “We do not fear the future, we build it.”

More in News

Manhunt for convicted sex offender ends with arrest in Enumclaw

Upon his release, Ronald Clayton cut off his GPS tracker and obtained enough meth for a felony charge.

All invited to attend kick-off conversation about affordable housing

The Calvary Presbyterian church will be hosting a “community conversation” on affordable housing on Oct. 26.

City to keep some sales tax revenue, use money to help with affordable housing

A bill passed in last year’s legislative session allows cities to keep funds for affordable housing by seeking a credit against the state’s share of local sales taxes.

Black Diamond council member identified as a ‘Three Percenter.’ What does that mean?

Some Three Percent groups are armed militias patrolling the southern border. Others join far-right rallies with white supremacy groups. Chris Wisnoski said his organization, the Washington State Three Percent, is not affiliated with the national movement and focuses more on charitable works and community preparedness.

Enumclaw, Black Diamond police blotter | Oct. 1 – 9

Hit and run at EHS, chronic 911 calls, and slashed tires.

Local gym hopes to make an imPACt

Visit the Plateau Athletic Club on Oct. 11 and 12 to raise money for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (and maybe even work out, too).

Dane Scarimbolo and Dominique Torgerson run Four Horsemen Brewery in Kent. They were almost shut down in late 2017 by King County, which after years of letting them operate a brewery and taproom, decided they were in violation of county code. Aaron Kunkler/staff photo
Proposed winery ordinance irks King County farmers, neighbors and businesses

Concerns include more traffic, higher land prices, code enforcement and compliance.

Health Board passes emergency ban on flavored vapor products | Department of Health

The ban, which began Oct. 10, will be in effect for 120 days.

Culvert replacement planned for Battersby Avenue

Enumclaw received more than $300,000 from the King County Flood Control District for the project.

Most Read