Jay Inslee announced today that would be resigning from Congress to campaign full time for the governorship. We were invited as a member of the press (can you believe it?) to cover the announcement.
Inslee’s move clearly changes the game in the governor’s race. It not only eliminates Inslee’s primary obstacle to victory – being out of the state for his job as Congressman – but it gives him more freedom to campaign than even McKenna enjoys, who will continue to serve in his role as Attorney General (which given the increase in lawsuits against the state in recent years is sure to command a good deal of his attention).
Inslee stated repeatedly that he was “all in” and that he would “campaign day in and day out, seven days a week,” noting that “we’re in a competitive race, it’s been competitive since the beginning and I’d guess it will be competitive to the very end.”
“This wasn’t an easy decision, but I’ve make a number of tough decisions. It was a tough decision when I voted against the Iraq war. It was a tough decision when I was one of just a handful to vote against the deregulation of Wall Street.”
Health care wasn’t mentioned by either Inslee or the press in their questions. Education, however, took center stage in questions, with reporters wondering what Inslee thougtht about the recent legislative session.
“You know, I have just been amazed with the Republicans who have come into our state trying to take away contraception from women… And now Republicans in the Legislature are trying to cut education.”
Inslee said he was hopeful that his opponent Rob McKenna would condemn those cuts to education as he had, reminding the almost 60 supporters in the room his “opposition right out of the gate.”
Brief comments are in the video below.