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Jay Inslee: Everything you need to know about the 2020 candidate

Gov. Jay Inslee holding a microphone
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee. Photo: David Ryder/Getty Images

Jay Inslee, the governor of Washington, is a Democratic 2020 presidential candidate who plans to make climate change the key issue of his campaign.

Key facts about Jay Inslee:

  • Current position: Governor of Washington — 9 years served. Chair of the Democratic Governors Association.
  • Age: 68
  • Born: Seattle, Washington
  • Undergraduate: Stanford University, University of Washington
  • Date candidacy announced: March 1, 2019
  • Previous roles: House of Representatives (1993-1995, 1999-2012), Washington House of Representatives (1989-1993)

Jay Inslee's stance on key issues:

  • Climate change: The top issue for Inslee, who has championed clean energy agendas in his own state and argued for green energy alternatives to foreign oil and fossil fuels. A new super PAC pledged its support in February, advocating a climate-focused presidential run.
  • Green New Deal: Inslee told the Washington Post he "welcomes" the GND, but says it's not endorsable since it's not yet an actual policy.
  • Gun control: In 1994, Inslee voted in favor of federal legislation that banned the manufacture, sale and possession of combat-style assault weapons, a stance that probably cost him his House seat in 1995, CNBC reports. Today, he still has strong views on gun control — touting that his state stands up for "common sense gun safety reforms."
  • Senate filibuster: He believes the Senate filibuster, which requires 60 votes to pass most bills rather than a majority rule, should be eliminated.
  • Vaccinations: Inslee declared a state of emergency in January after the anti-vaccination wave contributed to cases of measles, causing what he called a "public disaster."

Key criticisms of Jay Inslee:

  • Anonymity: Inslee isn't a nationally recognized name in a very crowded Democratic race. In his defense, he told the Seattle Times that Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton "were pretty much unknown governors of small states" before they ran for president.
  • Age: A recent poll found 43 of Iowa's 76 Democratic county party leaders say they want a young candidate to be their nominee.

1 fun thing about Jay Inslee:

  • In 2009, Inslee played in a series of basketball games at the White House on a team with members of Congress against President Obama and members of the Obama administration.

Go deeper: Everything you need to know about the other 2020 candidates

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