On Capitol Hill, we’ve seen a lot of the latest Democratic candidate to toss their hat into the ring for the 2020 presidential election. This time, we probably won’t find him canvassing for votes while talking about potatoes and jobs at the Capitol Hill Farmers Market. But we might see him hanging around E Madison’s Bullitt Center, the sun-powered, super green office building he helped cut the ribbon on when it debuted in 2013.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced his bid for the presidency Friday in a Youtube video and a speech at South Seattle photovoltaic installation firm A&R Solar. “I’m running for president because I am the only candidate who will make defeating climate change our nation’s number one priority,” Inslee says in the video. While Inslee has poor name recognition beyond the Pacific Northwest, his climate change message has attracted powerful backers including billionaire investor and Democratic activist Tom Steyer who Friday called Inslee a “climate champion.”
Inslee isn’t the only prospective Washington State candidate. Former Starbucks CEO and longtime Madison Park lakefront mansion resident Howard Schultz has been kicking the tires on in independent run for president. Would you consider voting for either of them? Let us know in our 2020 candidate ranking survey:
In a rally at Capitol Hill’s Volunteer Park last month, Inslee used his time at the mic to attack Donald Trump. Inslee said there are real emergencies that the nation should be taking action on including gun violence, and climate change. “We know we are the first generation to feel the sting of climate change. And we are the last generation that to do something about it,” Inslee said. “This nation needs a leader there can create a message of clean energy economic growth to defeat climate change. That is the emergency that we can respond to.”
Inslee spent 15 years in Congress before his successful bid for governor in 2012. He easily won re-election in 2016. In 2018, Inslee’s push for a state carbon tax was rejected by voters. Inslee now says that Washington’s investments to boost clean technology startups and new laws requiring reduced emissions will accomplish the same reduction goals as the carbon tax.
With a wide field of Democratic hopefuls, the jockeying has begun to be one of the 20 candidates to be invited to be part of the Democratic National Committee’s primary debates starting in June. To qualify, candidates must rank in polling and take in donations from 65,000 donors in 20 or more states.
Washington, meanwhile, is again considering moving up its presidential primary to make the vote more relevant. More important for Inslee could be a decision expected this April as Washington State Democratic Central Committee chooses how the party will utilize the primary vote in 2020. In 2016 and past presidential elections, Democrats have caucused to dole out the state’s delegates. The last time around, there were incredibly long lines — and a landslide victory for Bernie Sanders — on Capitol Hill.
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