Campaigning for the Planet

Inslee has joined the 2020 presidential race


Photo: Photo courtesy: Inslee for America

Washington Governor and now presidential candidate Jay Inslee has chosen to center his campaign around climate action.

Jay Inslee, the current governor of Washington, has officially joined the race for president, joining 13 other Democratic candidates competing for the party’s 2020 presidential nomination. Unlike other candidates in the pool, Inslee is choosing to focus his campaign primarily on the issue of climate change.

Inslee has been involved in Washington politics for more than 30 years and has served as the state’s governor since 2012. 

History teacher Pat Grant sees that Inslee’s experience as governor could help him as president. 

“Jay Inslee, of course being governor, has the experience of being an executive leading a state government. That’s important experience,” Grant said. 

Over Inslee’s decades-long political career, he has pursued climate-related actions such as a carbon tax and investment in renewable energy sources. In recent years, Inslee has gained attention as a critic of President Trump and a leader in the movement to uphold goals in the nationally-abandoned Paris Climate Agreement. 

Inslee’s main goal, if elected president, would be to pursue similar goals at a national level. In a March 1 campaign video announcing his candidacy, Inslee stressed the threat of climate change.

“We’re the first generation to feel the sting of climate change, and we’re the last that can do something about it,” Inslee said.

“Our country’s next mission must be to rise up to the most urgent challenge of our time: defeating climate change.””

— Jay Inslee

According to his campaign website, Inslee intends to combat climate change by transitioning the nation to renewable energy sources, investing in green jobs and technology, and ending subsidies for the fossil fuel industry.

Senior David Abramowitz is sceptical about the effectiveness of a federal climate plan.

“I don’t know if there’s a top-down solution that can be crafted,” Abramowitz said. “Should [climate change] be mentioned or considered or brought up at the federal, national level? Yes. But should we see a one-size-fits-all solution? I’m not sure.”

When Abramowitz heard that Inslee had joined the presidential race, his reaction was, as he described it, “amusement.”

“I don’t think he has a chance to win,” Abramowitz said. “He doesn’t have the name recognition necessary.”

Whether or not he poses a significant threat to other candidates in the contest, Inslee brands himself as standing out from the field as the climate candidate. 

 Many current University Prep juniors and seniors as voters will decide if Inslee’s message is one worth supporting in the primary election. Though Inslee’s campaign focuses on the issue of climate change, Grant encourages students to research the governor — as well as other presidential candidates — and look into stances on other important issues before deciding who to support.

“Jay Inslee is known for his views on climate change. He is less known for his views on other issues, and I think it’s important to take the time to read about where the candidates stand on a wide range of issues that a president would face,” Grant said.

Who’s Inslee Up Against