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Jay Inslee

Jay Inslee
Jay Inslee official portrait.jpg
23rd Governor of Washington
Assumed office
January 16, 2013
LieutenantBrad Owen
Cyrus Habib
Preceded byChristine Gregoire
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Washington's 1st district
In office
January 3, 1999 – March 20, 2012
Preceded byRick White
Succeeded bySuzan DelBene
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Washington's 4th district
In office
January 3, 1993 – January 3, 1995
Preceded bySid Morrison
Succeeded byDoc Hastings
Member of the Washington House of Representatives
from the 14th legislative district
In office
January 9, 1989 – January 11, 1993
Preceded byJim Lewis
Succeeded byDave Lemmon
Personal details
Jay Robert Inslee

(1951-02-09) February 9, 1951 (age 67)
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Trudi Inslee (m. 1972)
ResidenceGovernor's Mansion
EducationUniversity of Washington (BA)
Willamette University (JD)

Jay Robert Inslee (/ˈɪnzl/; born February 9, 1951) is an American politician, author, and attorney who is the 23rd governor of Washington, elected in 2012. Inslee is a member of the Democratic Party.

Born in Seattle, Inslee graduated from the University of Washington and Willamette University College of Law. He served in the Washington House of Representatives from 1989 to 1993. Inslee represented Washington's 4th congressional district, which included parts of the state around Yakima, in the United States House of Representatives from 1993 to 1995. Defeated for reelection in 1994, Inslee returned to private practice and then ran for governor of Washington in 1996, coming in fifth in the blanket primary ahead of the general election, which was won by Democrat Gary Locke. Inslee then served as regional director for the United States Department of Health and Human Services under President Bill Clinton.

Inslee was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives again in 1998, this time for Washington's 1st congressional district, which included Seattle's northern suburbs in King County, Snohomish County and Kitsap County. He was reelected six times before announcing that he was running for governor of Washington again on June 27, 2011. He resigned from Congress on March 20, 2012, to focus on his campaign. He defeated Republican Rob McKenna, the Attorney General of Washington, in the general election, 52% to 48%. Inslee was reelected to a second term in 2016, defeating Republican Seattle Port Commissioner Bill Bryant, 54% to 46%.

Inslee has emerged as one of the most recognized critics of the administration of President Donald Trump. Alongside State Solicitor General Noah Purcell and State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, Inslee played a major role in the opposition to Trump's Executive Order 13769, which halted travel for 90 days from seven Muslim-majority countries and imposed a total ban on Syrian refugees entering the United States. The order was blocked by the courts and later superseded by other executive orders.

Inslee served as chair of the Democratic Governors Association for the 2018 election cycle.

Early life, education, and law career

Inslee was born in Seattle, the son of Adele A. (née Brown), a sales clerk, and Frank E. Inslee, a teacher and coach.[1] He graduated from Seattle's Ingraham High School, the University of Washington (Bachelor of Arts, Economics), and Willamette University College of Law (Juris Doctor).

Inslee has attributed his interest in the outdoors to the years his parents spent leading student groups on wilderness conservation trips in cooperation with the Student Conservation Association (SCA) on Mount Rainier in the 1960s and 1970s.[2] He practiced law for 10 years in Selah, Washington, a city just north of Yakima.

Washington House of Representatives (1989–1993)


Inslee ran for the Washington House of Representatives in 1988 after incumbent Republican State Representative Jim Lewis resigned to become political commentator of a Yakima television station.[3] He was inspired to run after the state legislature undermined a school bond that he had worked to pass after years of failure.[4] In the blanket primary, Republican Lynn Carmichael ranked first with 43% and Inslee ranked second with 40%. Republican Glen Blomgren ranked third with 17%.[5] In the general election, Inslee defeated Carmichael 52%-48%.[6] In 1990, Inslee was reelected with 62% of the vote.[7]


In the Washington state legislature, Inslee pursued a bill to provide initial funding to build five branch campuses of the Washington State University system. Although the bill failed, Inslee's tenacity made an impression on House Speaker Joe King, who said: "He's not afraid to incur the wrath of the speaker or the caucus."[8] In 1991, Inslee voted for a state energy policy that required the state to devise a cost-effective energy strategy and state agencies and school districts to pursue and maintain energy-efficient operation of their facilities.[9]

Committee assignments

Inslee served on the Higher Education and Housing Committees.[10][11]

U.S. House of Representatives (1993–1995)

Jay Inslee and his wife Trudi Inslee meet with the Dalai Lama.


In 1992, Inslee was elected to the United States Congress representing Washington's 4th congressional district in the central-eastern part of the state. His home area of the district, anchored by Yakima, is relatively rural and agriculture-based, while the southeastern part of his district is more focused on research and nuclear waste disposal, anchored by the Tri-Cities.
He lost his bid for reelection in the Republican Revolution of 1994 in a rematch against his 1992 opponent, Doc Hastings. Inslee attributed his 1994 defeat in large part to his vote for the Federal Assault Weapons Ban.[12]


In Congress Inslee passed the Yakima River Enhancement Act,[13] a bill long held up in Congress, by brokering a breakthrough with irrigators and wildlife advocates. He also helped to open Japanese markets to American apples and to fund and oversee the nation's biggest nuclear waste site at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation near Richland, Washington.[14]

Committee assignments

Early portrait of Inslee

In his first term, he was placed on the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture to protect the district's rural areas and the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space and Technology to protect the Hanford Reservation.[15]

Inter-congressional years (1995–1999)

Inslee moved to Bainbridge Island, a suburb of Seattle, and briefly resumed the practice of law.

1996 gubernatorial election

He ran for governor of Washington in 1996 and lost in the blanket primary. Democratic King County Executive and former State Representative Gary Locke ranked first with 24% of the vote. Democratic Mayor of Seattle Norm Rice ranked second with 18%, but didn't qualify for the general election. Republican State Senator Ellen Craswell ranked third with 15%, and became the Republican candidate in the general election. Republican State Senator and Senate Majority Leader Dale Foreman ranked fourth with 13%. Inslee ranked fifth with 10%. No other candidate on the ballot received double digits.[16]

Clinton administration

After Inslee's failed 1996 bid for governor of Washington, President of the United States Bill Clinton appointed him regional director for the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

U.S. House of Representatives (1999–2012)


Inslee as a representative

Inslee ran again for Congress in 1998, this time in the 1st congressional district against two-term incumbent Rick White. His campaign attracted national attention when he became the first Democratic candidate to air television ads attacking his opponent and the Republican congressional leadership for the Lewinsky scandal.[17] Inslee won with 49.8% of the vote to White's 44.1%; he had an unintentional assist in his successful return by the conservative third-party candidacy of Bruce Craswell, husband of 1996 GOP gubernatorial nominee Ellen Craswell.

The 1st was a swing district for most of the 1990s; Inslee's win marked the third time the district had changed hands in four elections. But Inslee was a major beneficiary of the recent Democratic trend in the Seattle area. He defeated Washington Senate Minority Leader Dan McDonald in 2000 with 54.6% of the vote. In 2002 Inslee defeated former state representative Joe Marine with 55.6% of the vote after the district was made more Democratic by redistricting. He never faced another contest that close, and was reelected three more times with over 60 percent of the vote.

In July 2003, after Gary Locke announced he would not seek a third term as Washington's governor, Inslee briefly flirted with a gubernatorial bid before deciding to remain in Congress.[18]

During the 2009-10 campaign cycle, Inslee raised $1,140,025. In data compiled for the period 2005 to 2007 and excluding individual contributions of less than $200, 64 percent of Inslee's donations were from outside the state of Washington and 86 percent came from outside his district (compared to 79 percent for the average House member). 43 percent of Inslee's donations came from Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland. The largest interests funding Inslee's campaign were pharmaceutical and health-related companies, lawyers and law firms, and high-tech companies.[19]

In 2010 he won by a 15-point margin, with 57.67% of the votes cast in his favor.[20] His district went 62% for Barack Obama in 2008, an indication of how strongly the district then leaned Democratic.


As a member of the New Democrat Coalition,[21] Inslee accumulated a liberal voting record and expertise on high-tech issues.[22]

Inslee was awarded a "Friend of the National Parks" award by the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) in 2001 for his support of legislation protecting the integrity and quality of the National Park System.[23]

Inslee was "one of Congress's most ardent advocates of strong action to combat global warming," according to The New York Times.[24] He was the first public figure to propose an Apollo-like energy program, in an opinion editorial in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer on December 19, 2002,[25] and in a series of similar pieces in other publications. Inslee co-authored Apollo's Fire: Igniting America's Clean Energy Economy, in which he argues that through improved federal policies the United States can wean itself off foreign oil and fossil fuel, create millions of green-collar jobs, and stop global warming. He has been a prominent supporter of the Apollo Alliance.[26] Inslee strongly believes the Environmental Protection Agency should remain authorized to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. In a 2011 House hearing on the Energy Tax Prevention Act, he said Republicans have "an allergy to science and scientists" during a discussion of whether the regulation of greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act should remain in place following a controversial court finding on the issue.[27]

Inslee was an outspoken critic of the George W. Bush administration's 2003 invasion of Iraq. On July 31, 2007, he introduced legislation calling for an inquiry to determine whether then United States Attorney General Alberto Gonzales should be impeached. Gonzales eventually resigned.[28]

Inslee voted for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the federal health care law.[29]

In 2011, Inslee voted in favor of authorizing the use of U.S. armed forces in the 2011 Libyan civil war and against limiting the use of funds to support NATO's 2011 military intervention in Libya.[30]

Inslee was once touted as a candidate for United States Secretary of the Interior and for United States Secretary of Energy during the Presidential transition of Barack Obama.[31][32]

On March 20, 2012, Inslee left Congress to focus on his campaign for governor of Washington.[33]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Governor of Washington (2013–present)

2012 gubernatorial election

On June 27, 2011, Inslee announced his candidacy for governor of Washington.[34] His campaign focused on job creation, outlining dozens of proposals to increase job growth in clean energy, the aerospace industry, and biotechnology. He also supported a ballot measure to legalize gay marriage, which passed, and opposed tax increases.[35] He won election by a three-point margin over his Republican opponent, Rob McKenna, with 51% of the vote.[36]

2016 gubernatorial election

On November 8, 2016, Inslee was reelected governor of Washington, defeating Republican former Port of Seattle Commissioner Bill Bryant, 54–46%.

First term: 2013–2017

During the 2013 session, the legislature failed to create a fiscal budget plan during the initial session, and Inslee was forced to call two special sessions in order to give time for a budget to be created. The Republican-controlled Senate and Democratic-controlled House each passed its own budget and could not agree on one.[37] Finally, in June 2013, Inslee signed a $33.6 billion budget to which both houses had reluctantly agreed as a compromise.[38]

On June 13, 2013, Inslee signed an additional estate tax into law. The estate tax had bipartisan support, and passed the Senate in a 30–19 vote.[39]

Inslee giving a speech in May 2013

In December 2013, Inslee was elected to serve as finance chair of the Democratic Governors Association.[40]

In January 2014, Inslee gave a speech commending machinists who voted to renew Boeing's contract with Seattle, allowing the company to build its Boeing 777x aircraft in Seattle. Inslee said the contract would bring Washington to a new industrial plateau and be a turning point for Washington jobs:

These jobs are in the thousands and it is not only on the 777X, the first model of the 777X, but all the subsequent derivative models as well.

The plan was to prevent Boeing from building part of the aircraft in Washington and part of it elsewhere, as they did with the Boeing 787, which was partially constructed in South Carolina.[41][42]

On 11 February 2014, Inslee announced that he was issuing a moratorium on executions in Washington:

There have been too many doubts raised about capital punishment, there are too many flaws in this system today. There is too much at stake to accept an imperfect system.

Inslee cited the high cost of pursuing the death penalty, the randomness with which it was sought, and a lack of evidence that it is a deterrent.[43][44]

Second term: 2017–present

Inslee began his second term in January 2017, proposing full funding of state education (in compliance with the McCleary decision) and addressing mental health needs while also raising worker pay.[45] After newly inaugurated President Donald Trump on January 27 signed an executive order to ban entry from seven Muslim-majority countries, Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced their intention to sue Trump, alleging his order was unconstitutional. The civil action, Washington v. Trump, was filed on January 30 and on February 3 successfully earned a temporary restraining order to forbid federal enforcement of certain provisions of the order.[46][47] An appeal and request to stay filed by the federal government was subsequently denied by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Inslee and Ferguson declared their victory over Trump on February 16, after his administration announced it would revise the travel ban to comply with the court decisions.[48] Inslee garnered national media attention during the lawsuit,[49] fueling speculation from The Seattle Times that he might run for president in 2020.[50]

During the beginning of his second term, Inslee awarded $6.4 million in grant funding for apprenticeships and career connections for 29,000 youth in 11 communities[51]. He called this initiative Career Connect Washington. It includes a Task Force[52] and several prominent stakeholder groups including Alaska Airline, Amazon, Boeing, Microsoft, and Kaiser Permanente. As a result of Career Connect Washington, new apprenticeship opportunities have been established[53] including the Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee's registered Youth Apprenticeship[54] program for high school students.

Inslee served as chair of the Democratic Governors Association for the 2018 election cycle.[55] He is considering running for president in 2020 with a focus on climate change.[56]

In December 2018, Inslee announced new legislation aimed at reducing the state’s carbon emissions over a period of approximately two decades. It would require Washington utilities to effectively end the use of fossil fuels altogether by mid-century. It would make Washington "adopt a clean fuel standard", "promote electric and low-emission vehicles", and "provide incentives to renovate existing buildings to reduce" emissions.[57]

Electoral history

Date Position Status Opponent Result Vote share Opponent vote share
1988 WA Representative Elected
1990 WA Representative Incumbent Re-elected
1992 U.S. Representative Open seat Doc Hastings (R) Elected 51% 49%
1994 U.S. Representative Incumbent Doc Hastings (R) Defeated 47% 53%
1996 WA Governor Open seat primary Gary Locke (D), others Defeated
1998 U.S. Representative Challenger Rick White (R) Elected 50% 44%
2000 U.S. Representative Incumbent Dan McDonald (R) Re-elected 55% 43%
2002 U.S. Representative Incumbent Joe Marine (R) Re-elected 56% 41%
2004 U.S. Representative Incumbent Randy Eastwood (R) Re-elected 62% 36%
2006 U.S. Representative Incumbent Larry W. Ishmael (R) Re-elected 68% 32%
2008 U.S. Representative Incumbent Larry W. Ishmael (R) Re-elected 68% 32%
2010 U.S. Representative Incumbent James Watkins (R) Re-elected 57% 43%
2012 WA Governor Open seat Rob McKenna (R) Elected 51% 49%
2016 WA Governor Incumbent Bill Bryant (R) Re-elected 54% 46%

Personal life

Trudi Inslee

Inslee and his wife Trudi were high school sweethearts, and were married on August 27, 1972. They have three sons, Jack, Connor, and Joe, and live on Bainbridge Island.[58]

Inslee is an avid basketball player and a member of "Hoopaholics",[59] a charity group dedicated to "treatment of old guys addicted to basketball and who can no longer jump", as Inslee has often joked. In October 2009, he played basketball at the White House in a series of games featuring members of Congress on one team and members of the administration, including President Obama, on the other.[60]


  • Jay Inslee and Bracken Hendricks, Apollo's Fire: Igniting America's Clean Energy Economy, Island Press (October 1, 2007), ISBN 978-1-59726-175-3


  1. ^ "inslee". Retrieved 2012-09-11.
  2. ^ Putting Parents Before Pollsters, Alicia Mundy, May 9, 2007
  3. ^ []
  4. ^ PVS Biography[permanent dead link].
  5. ^ "WA State House District 14 Seat 2 - Blanket Primary Race - Sep 20, 1988". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2012-09-11.
  6. ^ "WA State House District 14 Seat 2 Race - Nov 08, 1988". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2012-09-11.
  7. ^ "WA State House District 14 Seat 2 Race - Nov 06, 1990". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2012-09-11.
  8. ^ Yakima Herald-Republic, June 11, 1989.
  9. ^ HB 1022 - An act relating to state energy policy. Retrieved from [][permanent dead link].
  10. ^ "Lewiston Morning Tribune - Google News Archive Search".
  11. ^ "Ellensburg Daily Record - Google News Archive Search".
  12. ^ Postman, Sorrano, David, Barbara (November 29, 1995). "Former Rep. Jay Inslee Joins Governor's Race". Seattle Times. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
  13. ^ HR 1690, 103rd Congress, Library of Congress bill page.
  14. ^ Inslee Sticks To Campaign Game Plan -- Message Attempts To Boost His Profile, Sept 3, 1996.
  15. ^ "Ellensburg Daily Record - Google News Archive Search".
  16. ^ "WA Governor - All Party Primary Race - Sep 17, 1996". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2012-09-11.
  17. ^ Candidates Are Held Hostage by Scandal, Washington Post, October 11, 1998.
  18. ^ Inslee Won't Run For Governor, Joel Connelly, Seattle Post Intelligencer, September 8, 2003.
  19. ^ "Campaign Funding Sources". Inslee Contributions Illuminated. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
  20. ^ Reed, Sam. "Congressional District 1". 2010 Election Results. Washington Secretary of State. Archived from the original on 21 March 2011. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
  21. ^ New Democrat Coalition membership Archived 2006-01-30 at the Wayback Machine.
  22. ^ "The Seattle Times: Tech Tracks". Archived from the original on 2007-11-18.
  23. ^ Friend of the National Parks Award Winners Archived 2008-11-21 at the Wayback Machine., National Parks Conservation Association, February 15, 2001
  24. ^ Broder, John M. (March 9, 2011). "At House E.P.A. Hearing, Both Sides Claim Science". The New York Times. p. 17. Retrieved January 22, 2017.
  25. ^ "New Apollo Project can help us unplug our need for oil".
  26. ^ Inslee articles at the Apollo Alliance web page Archived 2008-11-26 at the Wayback Machine.
  27. ^ Wing, Nick (March 9, 2011). "Jay Inslee: Republicans Suffer From 'Allergy To Science And Scientists'". Huffpost Politics. The Huffington Post. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
  28. ^ Associated Press, Bill calls for Gonzales impeachment inquiry, Los Angeles Times, August 1, 2007
  29. ^ []
  30. ^ "Congress Votes on Libya". Inslee Supports Adventure in Libya. Archived from the original on 1 July 2011. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
  31. ^ Inslee For Interior Secretary? Archived 2009-01-26 at the Wayback Machine. Seattle Times, October 31, 2008
  32. ^ Obama's Energy Department Newsweek/Washington Post EnergyWire, Steve Mufson, November 6, 2008
  33. ^ Grygiel, Chris (March 10, 2012). "US Resp. Inslee to resign for Wash. gov. race". The News Tribune. Associated Press.[permanent dead link]
  34. ^ Inslee Announces Run For Governor Archived 2011-10-15 at the Wayback Machine., Liz Jones, KUOW, June 28, 2011.
  35. ^ Inslee takes strong lead, but McKenna won't concede, Jim Brunner, Seattle Times, 7 November 2012.
  36. ^ Reed, Sam. "WA STATE Gubernatorial results". WA STATE SEC OF STATE. Archived from the original on 2013-02-23.
  37. ^ "Washington Gov. Jay Inslee calls second special session". Oregon Live. June 11, 2013.
  38. ^ La Corte, Rachel (June 30, 2013). "Gov. Inslee signs $33.6 billion state budget". Kirotv.
  39. ^ "Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signs estate tax fix into law". Oregon Live. June 13, 2013.
  40. ^ Burns, Alexander. "DGA appoints leaders for 2014". Politico. Retrieved 2013-12-09.
  41. ^ Kim, Hana (January 4, 2014). "Governor Inslee says Boeing deal could open new industrial plateau". Q13 Fox.
  42. ^ "Boeing pact with Machinists union called turning point for labor". TribLive. January 4, 2014.
  43. ^ "Inslee halts executions in state while he is governor". The Seattle Times. February 11, 2014. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
  44. ^ "Washington state to suspend death penalty by governor's moratorium". The Guardian. February 11, 2014. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
  45. ^ O'Sullivan, Joseph (January 9, 2017). "State lawmakers face tough fight over education funding as legislative session opens". The Seattle Times. p. B1. Retrieved February 21, 2017.
  46. ^ Burns, Alexander (January 30, 2017). "Legal Challenges Mount Against Trump's Travel Ban". The New York Times. Retrieved February 21, 2017.
  47. ^ Burns, Alexander (February 4, 2017). "How Washington State Upended Trump's Travel Ban". The New York Times. Retrieved February 21, 2017.
  48. ^ Dolan, Maura; Kaleem, Jaweed (February 16, 2017). "Trump says he will issue a new order after a 'very bad decision' blocked his initial travel ban". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 21, 2017.
  49. ^ Wang, Amy B. (February 5, 2017). "How Washington state became the epicenter of resistance to Trump's agenda". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 21, 2017.
  50. ^ Brunner, Jim (February 21, 2017). "Jay Inslee for president? Governor's profile is on the rise". The Seattle Times. Retrieved February 21, 2017.
  51. ^ "Inslee awards $6 million to create apprenticeship and career connections for 29,000 youth in 11 communities". Medium.
  52. ^ "Career Connected Washington Task Force". Workforce Training & Education Board.
  53. ^ "Washington voters don't think schools prepare kids for careers. The state is trying to change that". The Seattle Times. 2018-10-31. Retrieved 2018-11-16.
  54. ^ "Apprenticeship", Wikipedia, 2018-11-16, retrieved 2018-11-16
  55. ^ "Washington governor elected next DGA chair". My Columbia Basin. 2017-12-04. Retrieved 2017-12-05.
  56. ^ Brunner, Jim (2018-12-06). "Gov. Jay Inslee's new PAC raises $112,000 as he 'actively' considers presidential run". Seattle Times. Retrieved 2018-12-07.
  57. ^ Wilson, Reid. "Washington governor plans major climate initiatives". The Hill. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  58. ^ Biography Page Archived 2008-11-06 at the Wayback Machine..
  59. ^ "Flashback | Political football now Inslee's game, Seattle Times, Sept. 4, 2007.
  60. ^ Daly, Matthew (2009-10-08). "Local News | Lawmakers play hoops with Obama at White House | Seattle Times Newspaper". Retrieved 2010-08-29.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Sid Morrison
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Washington's 4th congressional district

Succeeded by
Doc Hastings
Preceded by
Rick White
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Washington's 1st congressional district

Succeeded by
Suzan DelBene
Party political offices
Preceded by
Christine Gregoire
Democratic nominee for Governor of Washington
2012, 2016
Most recent
Preceded by
Dan Malloy
Chair of the Democratic Governors Association
Succeeded by
Gina Raimondo
Political offices
Preceded by
Christine Gregoire
Governor of Washington
Current U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Mike Pence
as Vice President
Order of Precedence of the United States
Within Washington
Succeeded by
Mayor of city
in which event is held
Succeeded by
Otherwise Paul Ryan
as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Steve Bullock
as Governor of Montana
Order of Precedence of the United States
Outside Washington
Succeeded by
Butch Otter
as Governor of Idaho