Gov. Jay Inslee is surrounded by reporters as he speaks about his plans to run for a third term as governor Thursday in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Gov. Jay Inslee is surrounded by reporters as he speaks about his plans to run for a third term as governor Thursday in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Inslee’s bid for third term derails plans for other Democrats

He tells supporters he wants to ensure Washington remains a “progressive beacon” for the nation.

SEATTLE — Gov. Jay Inslee set a course Thursday for a third term as the state’s chief executive and left a trail of disappointed Democrats in his wake.

He launched his re-election campaign hours after abandoning his quest to be president, a quixotic pursuit that lasted six months and provided a national platform for his ideas on combating climate change.

“We told the Washington story around the United States,” he said at news conference in Seattle. “Being able to tell that story led to some good things, even though I won’t be the nominee, including the fact that we have elevated the climate change crisis to where it belongs. I’m very proud to have served for that purpose.”

Earlier Thursday, in an email to supporters, he wrote that his presidential bid “provided the nation a road map for innovation, economic growth, and progressive action” and he now seeks re-election to enhance the state’s role “as a progressive beacon for the nation.”

When asked if he would consider a Cabinet position like head of the Environmental Protection Agency if it were offered, he said no.

“There was one position in Washington, D.C., that I thought I was interested in, and I will not be serving in that capacity,” he said. “So I’m looking forward to serving as governor if people give me this option.”

Senate Minority Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, one of the governor’s sharpest critics, said Thursday not to count on him getting an offer anyway.

“Based on his administrative abilities I’d be surprised if anybody would give him a job in the other Washington,” he said.

Inslee’s announcement drew public cheers from leaders of the Democratic Party and statewide labor unions.

“He values and respects the voice and experience of our state’s educators,”said Larry Delaney, the new president of the Washington Education Association. “We look forward to Gov. Inslee’s continued leadership on school funding, workers’ rights and other issues that affect Washington families.”

But Inslee’s decision did collapse sails of those Democrats who had been charting their own course to the governor’s office had he not run again.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson, Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz, and King County Executive Dow Constantine had all been configuring campaigns until Inslee let them in on his plans.

Ferguson and Franz will now stay put and seek re-election in 2020. That means another bunch of Democrats who had been eyeing their seats had their plans torpedoed Thursday.

“I think the governor broke a lot of Democratic hearts by announcing his run for a third term,” said House Minority Leader J.T. Wilcox, R-Yelm.

Inslee, 68, is attempting to win a third term, a feat accomplished by only two other governors, both Republican, in state history.

Dan Evans won three consecutive terms and served from 1965-77. Arthur Langlie served from 1941-45 and then came back for two more terms, from 1949-57.

At this point, the pack of Republican opponents include Phil Fortunato, a plain-spoken state senator from Auburn, and Loren Culp, the police chief of Republic, in eastern Washington, who has said he won’t enforce parts of the most recent voter-approved gun control initiative.

Joshua Freed, a former mayor of Bothell, has registered a campaign committee. So too has businessman Anton Sakharov whose campaign slogan is “Make Evergreen Evergreat”.

Each of them — as well as any other Republican who enters the race — faces long odds because no member of the Grand Old Party has been elected governor in this state since 1980.

Still, state Republican Party Chairman Caleb Heimlich said that he thinks Inslee could be vulnerable.

“Getting elected to a third term is a tough task,” he said. “And doing so on the heels of a failed presidential campaign where you sent a message to voters that you want a different job, that doesn’t sit very well.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; jcornfield@herald net.com. Twitter: @dospueblos

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Snohomish residents Barbara Bailey, right, and Beth Jarvis sit on a gate atop a levee on Bailey’s property on Monday, May 13, 2024, at Bailey Farm in Snohomish, Washington. Bailey is concerned the expansion of nearby Harvey Field Airport will lead to levee failures during future flood events due to a reduction of space for floodwater to safely go. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Harvey Field seeks to reroute runway in floodplain, faces new pushback

Snohomish farmers and neighbors worry the project will be disruptive and worsen flooding. Ownership advised people to “read the science.”

IAM District 751 machinists join the picket line to support Boeing firefighters during their lockout from the company on Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Amid lockout, Boeing, union firefighters return to bargaining table

The firefighters and the planemaker held limited negotiations this week: They plan to meet again Monday, but a lockout continues.

Bothell
2 injured in Bothell Everett Highway crash

The highway was briefly reduced to one northbound lane while police investigated the three-car crash Saturday afternoon.

Heavy traffic northbound on 1-5 in Everett, Washington on August 31, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
On I-5 in Everett, traffic nightmare is reminder we’re ‘very vulnerable’

After a police shooting shut down the freeway, commutes turned into all-night affairs. It was just a hint of what could be in a widespread disaster.

Anthony Brock performs at Artisans PNW during the first day of the Fisherman’s Village Music Fest on Thursday, May 16, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
At downtown Everett musical festival: ‘Be weird and dance with us’

In its first night, Fisherman’s Village brought together people who “might not normally be in the same room together” — with big acts still to come.

Two troopers place a photo of slain Washington State Patrol trooper Chris Gadd outside District 7 Headquarters about twelve hours after Gadd was struck and killed on southbound I-5 about a mile from the headquarters on Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Judge reduces bail for driver accused of killing Marysville trooper

After hearing from Raul Benitez Santana’s family, a judge decreased bail to $100,000. A deputy prosecutor said he was “very disappointed.”

Pet detective Jim Branson stops to poke through some fur that Raphael the dog found while searching on Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Everett, Washington. Branson determined the fur in question was likely from a rabbit, and not a missing cat.(Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Lost a pet? Pet detective James Branson and his dogs may be able to help

James Branson, founder of Three Retrievers Lost Pet Rescue, helps people in the Seattle area find their missing pets for $350.

Community Transit leaders, from left, Chief Communications Officer Geoff Patrick, Zero-Emissions Program Manager Jay Heim, PIO Monica Spain, Director of Maintenance Mike Swehla and CEO Ric Ilgenfritz stand in front of Community Transit’s hydrogen-powered bus on Monday, May 13, 2024, at the Community Transit Operations Base in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
New hydrogen, electric buses get trial run in Snohomish County

As part of a zero-emission pilot program from Community Transit, the hydrogen bus will be the first in the Puget Sound area.

Two people fight on the side of I-5 neat Marysville. (Photo provided by WSDOT)
Video: Man charged at trooper, shouting ‘Who’s the boss?’ before shooting

The deadly shooting shut down northbound I-5 near Everett for hours. Neither the trooper nor the deceased had been identified as of Friday.

Two people fight on the side of I-5 neat Marysville. (Photo provided by WSDOT)
Road rage, fatal police shooting along I-5 blocks traffic near Everett

An attack on road workers preceded a report of shots fired Thursday, snarling freeway traffic in the region for hours.

The Port of Everett and Everett Marina on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Is Port of Everett’s proposed expansion a ‘stealth tax?’ Judge says no

A Snohomish resident lost a battle in court this week protesting what he believes is a misleading measure from the Port of Everett.

Pablo Garduno and the team at Barbacoa Judith’s churn out pit-roasted lamb tacos by the dozen at the Hidden Gems Weekend Market on Sunday, April 28, 2024, at Boom City in Tulalip, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Eating our way through Tulalip’s Hidden Gems weekend market

Don’t miss the pupusas, pit-roasted lamb tacos, elotes and even produce for your next meal.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.