Jay Inslee Enters 2020 Presidential Race, and Climate Change Is His Top Priority

Washington State Governor Jay Inslee
Photo: AP

The presidential candidate running in the name of climate change has arrived, and his name is Jay Inslee. The public’s been expecting the Washington state governor to announce his candidacy, so this comes as no surprise.

Inslee finally shot his shot Friday morning when he released a video on Twitter that highlighted the governor’s long legacy combatting climate change and why he was making it his top priority in his bid for the White House.

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“We’re the first generation to feel the sting of climate change,” he says in the video.

With recent devastating natural disasters like the Camp Fire in California and Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, he ain’t lying. While the Pacific Northwest governor has pushed the state in the right direction during his six years serving Washington through initiatives like a Clean Energy Fund to help develop the state’s clean energy technologies and a solar incentive bill to drive solar capacity, his voters failed to pass a historic equitable carbon tax that Inslee supported.

So far, many Democratic candidates have championed defeating climate change. However, none have singled it out as their top issue. But Inslee isn’t limiting himself to only climate change; he’s treating it as a threat multiplier and using it to talk about unemployment, racial justice, and corporate handouts. Unsurprisingly, he supports a Green New Deal, which has been a litmus test of sorts for Democratic candidates. Inslee is the only governor so far to announce his candidacy, and that might help him distinguish himself in a field full primarily of senators.

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Climate change is definitely one of the more urgent issues of our time, and the American public is slowly coming to realize that: 69 percent are worried about climate change, per a poll out earlier this year. The question remains, though, of whether that worry will guide their votes come 2020.

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About the author

Yessenia Funes

I mostly write about how environmental policy and climate change intersect with race and class though I occasionally write about animals, science, and art, too. We all need an escape, right?

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