Jay Inslee: biography
Jay Robert Inslee is a politician and lawyer in the United States who belongs to the Democratic Party. He was a member of the United States House of Representatives in 1993–1995 and 1999–2012. Besides, Inslee used to run for President of the United States in the election in 2020, but he suspended his campaign in 2019. Since 2013, Jay Robert has been the governor of Washington.
Childhood and youth
Jay Robert Inslee was born in Washington in 1951 to Adele A. and Frank E. Inslee. His family has English and Welsh descent. Jay also has two brothers, Frank and Todd.
Speaking about his education, Inslee attended Seattle's Ingraham High School, where he was interested in sports, especially in basketball and football, and where he met his future wife, Trudi. At a young age, Jay discovered his interest as an environmentalist: his parents have organized trips for students, and they were occupied in trips cleaning Mount Rainier. In 1973, Inslee graduated from the University of Washington with a bachelor's degree in economics. After that, he received a Juris doctor's degree at Willamette University College of Law.
After Inslee graduated from the College of Law, he moved with his wife to Selah, Washington. There, Jay started working as a city prosecutor in the law company Peters, Schmalz, Leadon & Fowler, and he has worked here for ten years. In 1985, he became politically active for the first time by advocating for the building of a new school. This occasion encouraged Inslee to run for the political office.
Washington House of Representatives
In 1988, Inslee ran for the Washington House of Representatives. It was a hard time for Jay because of his opponent’s power. It was considered that Lynn Carmichael, who used to be a mayor of Yakima, was leading the race between them. Another issue was the difficulties with Jay’s progressive ideology and Central Washington’s tendency for conservatism. One of the biggest Inslee’s supporters was The Washington State Trial Lawyers Association.
Primarily, Carmichael got 43% of votes, Inslee ranked second with 40%, and Glen Blomgren was third with 17%. In the general election, Jay received the first position and 52% of votes. In 1990, he was reelected with 62% of votes. Next year, Inslee promoted a state energy policy, which meant that the state needed to elaborate on a more economical energy strategy. During his time at the House of Representatives, Jay served on the Higher Education and Housing Committees.
In 1992, Sid Morrison decided not to run for reelection for Washington's 4th congressional district. Although Inslee did not want to run at first, he started his campaign. Eventually, Jay won the general election in spite of the district's conservatism. Two years later, he was defeated in the reelection by his former opponent, Doc Hastings. Inslee himself stated that this defeat was connected to his vote for the Federal Assault Weapons Ban. During that time, Jay passed the Yakima River Enhancement Act, and in that case, wildlife advocates and climate fighters helped him.
In 1998, Inslee returned for running again for Congress, and this time for the 1st congressional district. His campaign gained wide recognition because he turned out to be the first Democrat who attacked the Republican leadership for the Lewinsky scandal (sexual scandal connected with Bill Clinton and a White House intern, Monica Lewinsky) in the television ads. Jay won the election with 49.8% of votes, and Bruce Craswell, a husband of Ellen Craswell who used to run for governor of Washington, was a great help to him.
Then, in 2000, Jay won over Dan McDonald from the Washington Senate and received 54.6% of votes. Two years later, he defeated Joe Marine, a former state representative, with 55.6%. All in all, Inslee was reelected three more times, and he never got less than 60% of the votes. In 2003, Gary Locke made an announcement that he would not run for Washington's governor, but Inslee, after some thinking, decided to stay in Congress.
In 2009–2010, Jay raised $1,140,025. 64% of his donations came from outside Washington, and 86% came from outside his district. More interest in Inslee's campaign had health-related, law, and high-tech companies. In 2010, Inslee won again and got 57.67% of the votes.
Governor of Washington
In 1996, Inslee ran for governor of Washington and lost already in the blanket primary. The first one was Gary Locke, a King County Executive who belongs to a Democratic party, with 24% of votes. Mayor of Seattle Norm Rice, also a Democrat, was second and got 18%. The next two positions were for Ellen Craswell (15%) and Dale Foreman (13%), both Republicans. After this failure, President Bill Clinton made Jay a regional director for the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services.
In 2012, Inslee won the election over Rob McKenna and received 51% of the votes. His campaign was about job creation, and it proposed to focus on job growth in clean energy and biotechnology. Jay also supported legalizing gay marriage and was against tax increases. Four years later, he was reelected as the governor.
On November 8, 2016, Inslee was reelected governor of Washington, defeating former Republican Port of Seattle Commissioner Bill Bryant, 54–46%. As a governor of Washington, in 2019, Jay called May as Stroke Awareness Month. It was done with the purpose of increasing awareness of stroke warning signs. Among other governor’s accomplishments, there are also Evergreen Economy Plan (a plan of creation over 8 million jobs in the clean energy field), the launch of Career Connect Washington, and singing one of the nation’s fullest Access to Democracy Packages.
2020 presidential campaign
In 2018, there were lots of rumors about Inslee running for President of the United States in 2020. He gained a lot of attention because of the lawsuit that challenged the Trump Administration's order to prohibit entry from seven Muslim-majority countries. Eventually, Jay decided to run and stated that climate change was his primary motivation for that and also was Trump's policies that he did not approve of.
At the beginning of 2019, Inslee started forming an exploratory committee, which was the first step in a campaign, so everybody understood. However, Jay was rarely seen in the polls, and he was not so well-known outside Washington. In response to that, Inslee recalled the names of Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, who used to be unknown and from small states. Anyway, Jay participated in the Democratic debate that year, so he was not so invisible and attended some events. By the way, it was the time when he put on his glasses on the public for the first time.
On March 1, 2019, Inslee announced that he would be running for president and that he would focus on the environmental background and climate change. However, he faced rather poor poll numbers and suspended his campaign on August 21, 2019.
On August 27, 1972, Inslee married Trudi, whom he met at high school. After their marriage, the spouses moved to Selah, Washington, and that is where they raised their three sons together: Joe, Connor, and Jack.
Like with most politicians, it is hard to estimate Inslee’s net worth. For 2019, it is approximately $1 million. As governor, he received an annual salary - $170,000, and annual congressional pension - $43,000.