Washington Gov. Jay Inslee Wants to be POTUS
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced on Friday he will be running for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020. While the field he enters is shaping up to be a crowded one, he is the first sitting governor to declare for the blue team.
VIDEO: This is our moment, our climate, our mission — together, we can defeat climate change. That’s why I’m running for president. Join #OurClimateMoment today https://t.co/zg8ILGyk0Z pic.twitter.com/pUZVxyzfc5
— Jay Inslee (@JayInslee) March 1, 2019
While Inslee, 68, was elected governor in 2012, he doesn’t have much name recognition outside his home state. He now faces the difficult task in breaking through in a field of Democrats that already includes six U.S. senators, two current and former members of Congress and a former cabinet secretary.
But the Seattle native, who’s held elected office since 1989, is betting the growing threat of climate change will be a top-of-mind issue for Democratic voters.
“This is a moment. This is the 11th hour to defeat climate change. It is a moment of great urgency, but it is also this incredible opportunity to seize for job creation,” Inslee said in an interview with ABC News last week at the National Governor’s Association Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C.
“Mother Nature is making it break through, not me. Because Mother Nature, aggravated by climate change and carbon pollution, has burned down Paradise, California, drowned Houston, and is now drowning Miami Beach,” Inslee added. “This wake-up call is being delivered, and people are responding to it.”
Inslee will officially kick off his campaign with an event Friday afternoon in Seattle at a solar energy company, touting his work as governor growing his state’s clean energy industry.
The governor also will appear on ABC News’ “This Week with George Stephanopolous,” on Sunday, and will make his first trip to Iowa as a candidate on Tuesday, followed by campaign trips to Nevada and California later this month.
The potential problem for the Governor, besides his low name recognition outside the Pacific Northwest, is that while climate change is a growing issue that is very important to many, it isn’t to the general electorate, and only 6th most important among Democrats, the voters whose nomination he is seeking.
From what I can tell, Jay Inslee is about raising the importance of climate change in the American psyche. This chart from Pew shows it is not an top priority for most Americans and even among Dems it still ranks 6th. pic.twitter.com/1JGO2lvDYX
Whether he is running to win, just to raise awareness of the climate change issue, or to grow his own profile, it remains to be seen if Jay Inslee can make inroads to Democratic primary voters in a very crowded 2020 field.