Jay Robert Inslee (born February 9, 1951) is the United States House of Representatives for Washington's 1st congressional district, serving since 1999. He is a member of the Democratic Party (United States). The district includes many of Seattle's northern suburbs in King County, Washington, Snohomish County, Washington, and Kitsap County, Washington counties. On June 27, 2011, Inslee announced his candidacy for Governor of Washington.
Early life, education, and law career
Inslee was born in Seattle, the son of Adele A. (née Brown) and Frank E. Inslee.
He graduated from Seattle's Ingraham High School, the University of Washington (Bachelor of Arts, Economics), and Willamette University College of Law.
Inslee has attributed his interest in the outdoors and List of areas in the United States National Park System to the years his parents spent leading student groups on wilderness conservation trips in cooperation with the NPCA in Mount Rainier in the 1960s and 1970s. He practiced law for ten years in Selah, Washington, a city just north of Yakima.
Washington House of Representatives
Inslee ran for the Washington House of Representatives in 1988 after incumbent Republican State Representative Jim Lewis resigned to become political commentator of a Yakima television station. He was inspired to run after the state legislature undermined a school bond that he had worked to pass after years of failure. In the blanket primary, Republican Lynn Carmichael ranked first with 43% and Inslee ranked second with 40%. Republican Glen Blomgren ranked third with 17%.
In the general election, Inslee defeated Carmichael 52%-48%. In 1990, Inslee won re-election with 62% of the vote.
In the state legislature, he championed legislation banning steriods. He was well known for his opposition to creating five new branch campuses in the Washington State University system. He said in April 1989, "It's a big step for higher education. All right.
A step over a financial cliff."
He served on the Higher Education and Housing Committees.
U.S. House of Representatives (1993-1995)
In 1992, he ran for and was elected to the United States Congress representing Washington's 4th congressional district in the central part of the state, a rural, agricultural-based district anchored by Yakima and the Tri-Cities, Washington.
He lost his bid for re-election in the Republican Revolution of 1994 in a rematch against his 1992 opponent, Doc Hastings. Inslee attributed his 1994 defeat in large part to his vote for the Federal Assault Weapons Ban.
In Congress Inslee passed the Yakima River Enhancement Act, a bill long held up in Congress by brokering a breakthrough with irrigators and wildlife advocates. He also helped to open Japanese markets to American apples, and fund and oversee the nation's biggest nuclear waste site at the Hanford Site near Richland, Washington.
In his first congressional tenure, he was placed on the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture to protect the district's rural areas and the United States House Committee on Science, Space and Technology to protect the Hanford Reservation.
Inter-congressional years (1995-1999)
Inslee moved to Bainbridge Island, a suburb of Seattle, and briefly resumed the practice of law.
1996 gubernatorial election
He ran for Governor of Washington in Washington gubernatorial election, 1996 and losing in the blanket primary.
Democrat King County Executive and former State Representative Gary Locke ranked first 24%. Democrat Mayor of Seattle Norm Rice ranked second with 18%, but didn't qualify for the general election. Republican State Senator Ellen Craswell ranked third with 15%, and became the Republican candidate to qualify for the general election. Republican State Senator and Senate Majority Leader Dale Foreman ranked fourth with 13%. Democrat one term U.S. Congressman Jay Inslee ranked fifth with 10%. No other candidate on the ballot received double digits.
After his failed 1996 bid for Governor of Washington, President of the United States Bill Clinton subsequently appointed him regional director for the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
Inslee was once touted as a candidate for United States Secretary of the Interior and for United States Secretary of Energy in the Presidential transition of Barack Obama.
U.S. House of Representatives (1999-present)
He ran again for Congress in 1998, this time in the 1st congressional district against two-term incumbent Rick White (politician). His campaign attracted national attention when he became the first Democratic candidate to air television ads attacking his opponent and the Republican congressional leadership for the Lewinsky scandal. Inslee won with 49.8% of the vote to White's 44.1%; his success was aided by the conservative third political party candidacy of Bruce Craswell, husband of 1996 GOP gubernatorial nominee Ellen Craswell.
The 1st was a swing district for most of the 1990s; Inslee's win marked the third time the district had changed hands in four elections. However, the recent Democratic trend in the Seattle area has turned the 1st into a solidly Democratic district. Inslee defeated Washington Senate Minority Leader Dan McDonald in 2000, taking 54.6% of the vote. Inslee defeated former state representative Joe Marine in 2002, taking 55.6% of the vote after the district was made more Democratic in the 2000s round of redistricting.
In July 2003, after Gary Locke announced he would not seek a third term as Washington's governor, Inslee briefly flirted with a gubernatorial bid before deciding to remain in Congress.
Inslee was returned to the United States House of Representatives with over 60% of the vote in the next three elections. During the 2009-10 campaign cycle, Inslee raised $1,140,025. In data compiled for the period 2005 to 2007 and excluding individual contributions of less than $200, 64 percent of Inslee's donations were from outside the state of Washington and 86 percent came from outside his district (compared to 79 percent for the average House member). A total of 43 percent of Inslee's donations came from Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland. The largest interests funding Inslee's campaign were pharmaceutical and health related companies, lawyers and law firms, and high tech companies.
In 2010 he won by a 15-point margin, with 57.67% of the votes cast in his favor. His district went 62% to Barack Obama in 2008, an indication of how strongly the district now leans Democratic.
Though a member of the Bill Clinton New Democrat Coalition, Inslee has accumulated a progressive voting record and expertise on high-tech issues.
Inslee was awarded a "Friend of the National Parks" award by the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) in 2001 for his support of legislation protecting the integrity and quality of the National Park System.
Inslee was the first public figure to propose an Apollo-like energy program with an op ed in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, on December 19, 2002, and in a series of similar pieces in other publications. Eventually Inslee co-authored Apollo's Fire: Igniting America's Clean Energy Economy, in which he argues that through improved Federal policies the United States can wean itself off of its dependence on foreign oil and fossil fuel, create millions of Green-collar worker, and stop global warming. Along these lines, he has been a prominent supporter of the Apollo Alliance.
Inslee strongly believes the Environmental Protection Agency should remain authorized to regulate green house gas emissions. In a 2011 House hearing, Inslee said Republicans have "an allergy to science and scientists," during a discussion of whether the Regulation of greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act should remain in place following a controversial court finding on the issue.
He has been an outspoken critic of the George W. Bush administration's decision to 2003 invasion of Iraq. On July 31, 2007, Inslee introduced legislation that called for an inquiry to determine whether then United States Attorney General Alberto Gonzales should be impeached. Gonzales eventually resigned.
In 2011 Inslee voted in favor of authorizing the use of U.S. armed forces in the 2011 Libyan civil war and voted against limiting the use of funds to support NATO's 2011 military intervention in Libya.
2012 gubernatorial election
On June 27, 2011, Inslee announced his entry into the Washington gubernatorial election, 2012.
Inslee and his wife Trudi were high school sweethearts and have been married since August 27, 1972. They have three sons, Jack, Connor, and Joe, and live on Bainbridge Island.
Inslee is an avid basketball player and a member of "Hoopaholics", a charity group dedicated to "treatment of old guys addicted to basketball and who can no longer jump" as Inslee has often joked. In October 2009, he played basketball at the White House in a series of games featuring members of Congress on one team and members of the administration, including President Obama, on the other.
March 4, 2012