In the hours after calling it quits on his long-shot run for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee—who quickly announced he will run for a third term in 2020—got a lot more media attention than he’d received in recent memory.
There was coverage at Fox News, the New York Times, NBC, The Hill, Five ThirtyEight, Politico, his hometown Seattle Times, the Washington Post, The Week and other news outlets. All of those stories focused on his climate change campaign, while skipping over a couple of things that have a lot of Evergreen State voters upset.
His campaign, thought by many of his critics to have been a vanity effort, and by one conservative Seattle talk jock as a campaign for a cabinet position in a Democrat administration if the emerging challenger defeats Donald Trump next year, never polled above 2 percent. He was immediately overshadowed by Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris, who have gotten more media pizzaz than other candidates for reasons that may be justified or not.
Three Democrats who might have sought the governorship had Inslee stayed in the race have backed off. Attorney General Bob Ferguson will apparently also seek re-election.
— Bob Ferguson (@BobFergusonAG) August 22, 2019
The national media may not have given Inslee a chance, although his single-issue campaign may not have appealed to voters around the country, either. He got what some might consider token talk time during the two debates in which he participated.
Already, many of Inslee’s Evergreen State constituents are demanding that he repay the state millions of dollars spent on his State Patrol security detail as he traveled around the country, creating the kind of carbon footprint he’s been telling voters to reduce.
Inslee is not well-liked by Washington gun owners, either. His support for increasingly restrictive gun laws since his days in Congress have not made any friends in the shooting community. His willingness to sign ll kinds of gun control legislation will immediately put him at odds with Republican candidates Phil Fortunato, a state senator, and Loren Culp, the police chief in the City of Republic.
Culp is the top cop who, earlier this year, made national headlines when he announced he would not enforce provisions of gun control Initiative 1639, which Inslee supported, because Culp believes it may not be constitutional. Culp was followed by some 20 of the state’s 39 county sheriffs, who have also announced they will not actively enforce the measure.
I-1639 is currently being challenged in federal court by the Second Amendment Foundation and National Rifle Association.
Inslee may have some serious problems heading into 2020. Voters will remember what they think was his abandonment of the state on his watch while seeking the presidency.
When he first ran for governor back in 2012, he resigned from Congress, essentially leaving his district without representation.
On his watch, the state has become a magnet for the homeless and for drug abusers. He declared the state a “sanctuary” for illegal aliens, one of whom murdered a Kittitas County sheriff’s deputy in a shootout. That man had entered the country legally but overstayed his visa by a few years.
Taxes have gone up, as has the cost of living.
The only other governor who has served three terms in Washington was moderate Republican Dan Evans, a half-century ago. The governor’s office has been occupied by Democrats for more than three decades.
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