Jay Inslee launches campaign for governor

Jay Inslee

Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA), officially announced his campaign for governor at a press conference inSeattle Monday.

Inslee’s opportunity to seek the governor’s seat came after sitting Gov.Christine Gregoire said she would not seek a third term.

Inslee, 60, has represented Washington's 1st Congressional District since 1999.

"It is time to build a working Washington, and if we are going to do this we need a leader who truly understand the economic challenges of the state of Washington," Inslee said. "I will be that leader of this state."

Inslee will face off against Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna, who announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination June 8.

Following Inslee’s announcement, the Republican Governors Association (RGA) was quick to slam him.

"Attorney General Rob McKenna’s proven executive experience is a perfect contrast to Congressman Jay Inslee’s disappointing and ineffective record as a legislator," said RGA spokesman Mike Schrimpf.

Inslee was elected in 1992 to the U.S. House from Washington's 4th Congressional District. He lost his bid for re-election in the Republican landslide of 1994 in a rematch against his 1992 opponent, Rep. Richard "Doc" Hastings.

Inslee moved to Bainbridge Island and briefly resumed practicing law before he ran for governor in 1996 and lost in the primary to Gary Locke. 

President Clinton subsequently appointed Inslee regional director for the Department of Health and Human Services, a position he left when he ran for Congress in 1998. He ran in the 1st District against two-term incumbent Rick White and won with 49.8 percent of the vote.

The 1st District was a swing district for most of the 1990s; Inslee's win marked the third time the district had changed parties in four elections. The growing democratic trend west of the Cascades has enabled Inslee to strengthen his hold on the district.  

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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