March 1, 2019 - Gov. Jay Inslee (D-WA) Announces Candidacy

• Inslee's campaign released 1m20s video and launched a website.
• Inslee announced his candidacy at an event at A&R Solar in South Seattle—transcript.
• Inslee for America press releases.
• Reactions from EDF Action, RNC.


Woman: Hi governor, what do you have to say about climate change?

Jay Inslee: A lot.

Inslee Clips: "We got to stop global warming. Everyone in this country know climate is changing. Reduce carbon pollution. New energy future. Climate change. Climate change. We should be dealing with climate change. Climate change. Climate change. We need to defeat climate change. That's what I believe."

Jay Inslee: We're the first generation to feel the sting of climate change.

And we're the last that can do something about it.

We went to the moon and created technologies that have changed the world.

Our country's next mission must be to rise up to the most urgent challenge of our time: defeating climate change.

This crisis isn't just a chart or graph anymore. The impacts are being felt everywhere.

We have an opportunity to transform our economy, run on 100% clean energy. That will bring millions of good paying jobs to every community across America, and create a more just future for everyone.

I'm Jay Inslee, and I'm running for president because I'm the only candidate who will make defeating climate change our nation's number one priority.

We can do this! Join our movement! This is our moment.

Voices: This is our moment.

Gov. Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Announcement of Candidacy
A&R Solar
Seattle, Washington
March 1, 2019

[DEMOCRACY IN ACTION Transcript  |  KIRO7 Video]

introductory remarks by:
Swinomish Chairman Brian Cladoosby
Former Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland
Seattle Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda

INSLEE:  Good morning!

It really is a good morning. We have the sun raining down on us at a solar facility in Seattle, Washington.

So it is pretty hard not to be optimistic on a date like this. And it is great to be here with our beloved Trudy, my wife of 46 years, and my three sons and daughter in laws. And I see so many friends today, including Jim Whittaker right here, the first American to climb Mount Everest.

Jim knows that we can do big, challenging things. And I want to thank you, Jim, for now being involved in a great climb for the next couple years.

But I have to tell you that my grandkids can't be here today, and they told me it's because today is Dr. Seuss day at Wilkes Elementary. We Inslees know how to prioritize.

And now it is time for our nation to set a new priority. So I am announcing today that I'm a candidate to become the next President of United States. Thank you.

I do so because this is truly our moment. It is our moment to solve America's most daunting challenge and make it the first, foremost and paramount duty the United States, and that is to defeat climate change.

This is our moment to put the greatest threat to our existence, to our economy, to our health at the very top of the nation's agenda. This is our moment to reinvent our economy, creating millions of jobs in every state, in every community, urban and rural, across America.

This is our moment together to create not just a transition, but a just transition to bring justice to all communities, especially frontline communities, communities of color, who have borne the brunt of climate change.

I am running for president because unlike the man in the White House, I believe in all the people who make up America. Because I believe in our spirit of innovation and optimism, and because I believe our ability to rise to any challenge.

This we know. We are the first generation to feel the sting of climate change, and we are the last generation that can do something about it.

The science on this is abundantly clear. We have a very short period of time to act. And whether we shrink from this challenge or rise to it is the vital question of our time. And we know it is the eleventh hour.

But as we have shown time and time again throughout our nation's history, this is our nation's hour to shine, and I believe we will because of the urgency of the moment, the scope of the challenge; because the economic growth opportunities inherent in clean energy are clear; and because no other issue touches so much of what we as a nation care most deeply about. And I am confident that we can do it.

Climate change, climate change is no longer just a chart or a graph. It is right now, not in some distant future.

I stood in the middle of Paradise, California a few months ago, a town of about 25,000 people. And we drove for over an hour in the dark. And you can hardly find a house standing after those devastating fires.

Because of the massive fires here last summer, our kids were told they had to stay indoors because the air was so unhealthy. Think about this, the air quality in Washington State was the worst in the world last year—not Beijing, not New Delhi, but here in Washington State.

We have one chance to defeat climate change, and it is right now. And it is my belief that you when you have one chance in life, you take it.

And I know, now I know this as well. Climate change is a matter of great peril, but it is also one of great promise. Yes, we can pioneer the industries of the future, we can create millions of good paying jobs and build the clean energy economy of the future.

I know, I know, I know this is possible. I co-authored a book 12 years ago. It was called Apollo's Fire: Igniting America's Clean Energy Economy. And in that book, we laid out a vision of economic growth around clean energy. It was based on the central premise that we can all have a role to play this revolution; we can all be heroes in this adventure. And we are already getting started.

Think about this. Jobs in the clean energy economy are growing twice as fast as the rest of the economy. The fastest growing job in the nation is a solar installer. Number two, number two, wind turbine technician.

So climate change is not more important than the economy. It is the economy.

Look, look this is pretty simple. Climate change is already damaging our economy, and fighting climate change will build a new economy. The most expensive path is the path of inaction. And that is unacceptable to us In America.

In Washington State, in Washington State I remember walking into a room and Seattle in 2006, and we were a group of community and and business, forward looking business leaders. And we were debating whether we should put a renewable portfolio energy standard on the ballot. And we knew that battle was going to be tough against the most powerful special interests. But we moved forward; we were undaunted. And out of that initiative, we created an entirely new wind energy industry from scratch; from zero, from zero dollars to $6 billion dollars in industry in 12 years. That's the speed we need.

We now have a solar installation industry right here in A&R Solar. This company started as a two employee shop that was just a dream in 2007. They're now employing over 70 workers installing clean energy. This is the future of America.

We know, we know it is time for a new national vision to reinvent our economy. And I know we can do it because we are an optimistic America that can do big things. We put a man on the moon. We created the digital economy. Now I am calling on America to engage in a new national mission—a mission to fight climate change. And let's commit to put every American, in their ingenuity, in their innovation, in their creativity, and just their plain hard work, into an all-out effort to solve this problem.

But I believe... Americans are calling for this. I've heard them. Folks are mobilizing across the country for a Green New Deal. This is our moment, and—

So our new national mission will have four specific goals.

Number one, we will power our economy with 100% clean, renewable and carbon-free energy and achieve net zero greenhouse gas pollution in the United States.

Number two, number two we are going to create millions of good paying jobs in every community, investing in clean energy. We are going to build electric cars in Michigan, we are going to build an install wind turbines in Iowa, and we are going to install solar right here in Washington State. That's what we're going to do.

And while we do this we will focus on justice and inclusion as a centerpiece of this economic transformation to ensure that no group is left to bear the cost of transition and everyone benefits from new jobs and investment.

And finally, we need to end the giveaways and billions in subsidies to fossil fuel industries.

Now these are, these are ambitious goals, and some may doubt our ability to build this new future or say that our workers aren't up to this challenge. Well, they are wrong. Don't believe them.

We know something about our laborers, our electrical workers, our machinists, our scientists, our inventors, our dreamers, our entrepreneurs. We have led the world through the Industrial Revolution; we have led the world through the Information Age, and we can do it again starting in 2020. This is what we should do.

Now, we must do this because there is no other issue that touches so much of what we care about. We know climate change is as much a matter of equity as is it is a matter of ecology. It is the communities of color that suffer from climate change first and worse. They live closer to pollution spewing industrial plants. They suffer the lack of commitment to reimburse and rebuild after natural disasters that increase because of climate change, like Puerto Rico. So let's come together and build a future with clean air, clean water and economic opportunity for all regardless of zip code income, or the color of your skin.

Change is about health. Temperature extremes will make infectious diseases and allergies more widespread and respiratory problems like asthma with kids more rampant.

Climate change is about national security. Wars for oil have cost us thousands of lives and billions of dollars. I'm proud to have voted against the war in Iraq, and wars for oil must be over.

So let's apply those energies towards building a domestic energy supply that is clean, renewable and American made.

We must take on climate change to help level the playing field as well. Our economy's reliance on polluting fossil fuels and our political system's reliance on fossil fuel money is holding us back. So I remember for the oil, coal and gas special interests. That gravy train is over.

So as a candidate I will not take one dime from fossil fuel companies, and when I am president not one nickel of taxpayer dollars will go to subsidize oil and gas.

If the task we face now feels monumental, it is. If it feels difficult, it will be. The most powerful special interests in the world won't just give away their power or their profits. But we know we can do hard things. I know we can do this because what we have done in Washington State.

Here in Washington, here in Washington we've invested in companies that are building our renewable future. We are electrifying our transportation system. We're growing clean energy jobs by the bushel full. And economic innovation and leadership for the future ee know starts in our schools. That's why I've led our state to invest billions in our schools, expanded early childhood education, made college more affordable, and finally give, have given educators the deserved raise they deserve.

In Washington State, in Washington State we passed the best paid family medical leave law in the United States. Let's secure this same right for every family in this country.

We've raised the minimum wage.

We've invested in transportation infrastructure when they can't build a birdhouse in Washington, DC.

We were the first state to protect net neutrality when Donald Trump tried to shut it down.

We've legalized marijuana. And it's about time we do it nationwide.

We've taken on the NRA. We expanded background checks, we protected victims of abuse, we banned bump stocks, and we're not done. Let's ban assault weapons and take weapons of war off our streets.

We believe fundamentally in justice and inclusion in our state. It is a Washington, and I believe American value. So I'm proud to have been the first governor to have stood up to Donald Trump's Muslim ban.

I am pleased that we are ending the death penalty in the state of Washington.

And that is why I have offered to pardon thousands of citizens with marijuana convictions so we can start ending the racial disparity in our criminal justice [inaud].

Because Republican voter suppression and denying folks the right to vote is a downright evil, we have strengthened our voting laws to some of the most expansive in the nation. And we need new federal protections that guarantees every American has the right to vote. We need the federal government to stand up.

So if you look at our state, and you ask, you know, why we've done so well. We have succeeded here in Washington because we've grown our economy from the middle out, not suffered from trickle down. That's why Washington State has been named at the same time, the best place to do business and the best place to work. And we ought to be proud of that.

We've made, we've made these progressive advances and many more while building the top economy in the nation. And this has offered a glimpse for the nation of what is possible in all 50 states. So if America wants to see a Washington that actually works, look west to Washington State.

Now I know we are all angry and outraged by this President. I am too. But, rather than let that anger divide us, as the president and is wont to do, let's unite Americans in this moment by solving our most pressing urgent and existential problem.

And we are going to win this because I know something about the American people and their character. We are optimists. We are can do people. We invent, we create, we build. Defeating climate change is just a much a matter of character as it is a matter of science.

Americans. Here's what we know. Americans do not fear the world, we lead it.

We do not fear a challenge, we embrace it.

We do not fear the future, we build it.

So we know, we know that fighting climate change can't be somewhere down long down the page on a laundry list of our national things to do. It requires building a national mandate for bold and audacious action right now. It requires spending our political capital to get this job done.

So I will put this simply, if climate change isn't priority number one, it's not going to get done. So I am saying this I am pledging today that if I am given this high honor, I will make fighting climate change the number one priority of the United States of America.

[chants: Jay, Jay, Jay]

You know and there's something about this mission, this new national mission statement that is heartening to me and encouraging to me and inspiring to me, and that is we can all be heroes here. You don't have to be President of the United States to be president—to be a hero in this effort. You just have to join, because we can all be heroes, joining in a grand mission.

We are now involved in one of history's greatest endeavors, to save those living on this little blue planet from the dangers and massive threat of climate change.

So early to bed early to rise, work like hell and organize. This is our moment. This is our mission. Let's get this job done. Let's go... Thanks a lot.

[Ed. note: This speech went for about 23m27s. Inslee's remarks were repeatedly punctuated by applause, about once every minute or so.]

Inslee Releases Campaign Video, Scheduled to Declare Candidacy Today in Seattle

Seattle - TODAY at 10 AM Washington Governor Jay Inslee is scheduled to make an official announcement with family and friends at A&R Solar in South Seattle.

Gov. Inslee also released a video this morning about his plans. In the video, Inslee says “this is our moment” to take action on climate change by electing a new president. The video can be viewed HERE.

A&R Solar is a Seattle-based solar installation company that opened in 2007 with a team of just two. Today, A&R Solar employs over 70 workers, thanks in large part to Gov. Inslee’s policies to grow Washington’s clean energy economy—including by signing the 2017 Solar Incentive Jobs Bill. A&R Solar was named one of Washington’s fastest-growing private businesses by Puget Sound Business Journal.

Fighting climate change has been the driving force of Jay’s public life. Elected as governor of Washington in 2013, Jay has been known as America’s “greenest governor.” He co-founded the U.S. Climate Alliance in 2017 and he has passed significant laws that make Washington a national leader in the clean energy economy. In 2013, Jay created a new Clean Energy Fund, which has invested more than $100 million in developing and deploying innovative energy technologies, and growing clean energy businesses and jobs.

The video released Friday was co-produced by Jason Koenig—a native Washingtonian director known for his award-winning work with artists Macklemore and Ed Sheeran—and Dan Kully, a nationally-recognized political media consultant who has been a critical part of successful Democratic campaigns across the country.

WHAT: Gov. Jay Inslee to make official announcement
WHO: Gov. Jay Inslee (WA)
WHEN: 10:00 AM PT, Friday, March 1st

March 1, 2019

“This is Our Moment”: Inslee Announces 2020 Presidential Bid

Seattle - Governor Jay Inslee today launched his candidacy for president today, saying “this is our moment” to defeat climate change. Inslee declared that this mission is at the center of his presidential campaign and a cornerstone of the progressive policies he will pursue.

“Today, before the people I know best, my friends and family, I announce my candidacy to be the next President of the United States,” Gov. Inslee said. “I do so, because this is our moment, our moment to solve America’s most daunting challenge and make it the first, foremost, and paramount duty of the United States—defeating climate change.”

The launch was held at A&R Solar in Seattle, a solar installation company that opened in 2007 with a team of just two. Today, A&R Solar employs over 70 workers, thanks in large part to Gov. Inslee’s policies to grow Washington’s clean energy economy - including by signing the 2017 Solar Incentive Jobs Bill. A&R was named one of Washington’s fastest-growing private businesses by Puget Sound Business Journal.

“Climate change is not more important than the economy,” Jay told the crowd gathered for his announcement. “It is the economy.”

Fighting climate change has been a driving force throughout Gov. Inslee’s public life. Elected as governor of Washington in 2013, Inslee has been called America’s “greenest governor.” He co-founded the U.S. Climate Alliance in 2017 and he has passed significant laws that make Washington a national leader in the clean energy economy. In 2013, Inslee created a new Clean Energy Fund, which has invested more than $100 million in developing and deploying innovative energy technologies, and growing clean energy businesses and jobs.

In his announcement, Inslee recognized the scope of the challenge but also the ability of Americans to rise to the occasion.

“We are going to win this,” he told the crowd. “I know something about the American people and their character. We are optimists. We are can-do people. We invent, we create, we build. Defeating climate change is just as much as a matter of character as it is of science.”

A video announcing the campaign launch was released earlier today. The video highlights Inslee’s career-long commitment to fighting climate change and his national mission to tackle the most daunting challenge of our time.


March 1, 2019

Inslee to Launch ‘Climate Mission Tour’ This Week

Inslee to travel to Iowa on Tuesday, Nevada on Saturday in first trip as presidential candidate

Seattle - Governor Jay Inslee will kick off his 2020 presidential bid with a multi-state “Climate Mission Tour.” Inslee’s tour starts this week in Iowa and Nevada. 

The “Climate Mission Tour” will focus on the opportunity to create millions of jobs throughout the country while defeating the greatest challenge of our time—climate change. Gov. Inslee will meet workers in the clean energy economy, talk with students and environmental activists, and hear from people around the country about the impacts of climate change and the need to invest in clean energy job growth.

Governor Inslee is the only presidential candidate that will make defeating climate change the top priority. After announcing his presidential bid on Friday, Inslee will start his “Climate Mission Tour” off in Iowa on Tuesday, March 5thwith stops in Cedar Rapids, Ames, and Des Moines. The governor will travel to Nevada later in the week. Additional travel will be announced shortly.

Defeating climate change has been the driving force of the Governor’s public life and will be the focus of his bid for president.

Details of the Iowa visit are below:
Tuesday, March 5th:
  • Clean energy tour - SiteGen Solar, Paulson Electric, 3050 12th St SW, Cedar Rapids, IA
    • 12:30 PM CST
      • Paulson Electric is an Iowa-based full service electrical contracting company with over 150 employees serving eastern Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois. The Cedar Rapids office includes a 20.7kw solar photovoltaic array on the roof which produces one-third of the company’s annual energy usage.
  • Student clean energy roundtable - Iowa State University, 1124 Biorenewables Research Lab, 617 Bissell Rd Ames, IA
    • 3:30 PM CST
      • Student leaders will present their work on climatechange to Governor Inslee and talk about what they’re doing to fight climate change both on campus and beyond.
  • West Des Moines climate gathering - Law offices of Lawyer, Lawyer, Dutton & Drake, 1415 Grand Ave West Des Moines, IA
    • 7:00 PM CST
      • Local climate change activists will gather to talk with Governor Inslee about their climate change concerns, what they’re doing to address it locally, and the actions they want to see their next president take.

Governor Inslee will be in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday, March 9th.


March 2, 2019

ROUNDUP: Governor Jay Inslee’s Presidential Launch Coverage

‘The presidential candidate running in the name of climate change has arrived, and his name is Jay Inslee’

Seattle - Governor Jay Inslee launched his campaign Friday with a clear call to put climate change front-and-center in the nation’s priorities.

Here is what news outlets are saying about the Gov. Inslee’s 2020 presidential bid:

Washington Post - Washington Gov. Jay Inslee joins 2020 Democratic presidential field

“Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Friday became the latest Democrat to launch a 2020 presidential bid, asserting that he is the only candidate who will make combating climate change the nation’s top priority...In his remarks, Inslee argued that fighting climate change is central to progress on an array of other fronts, including health care, national security and racial justice.”

NPR - Promising To Tackle Climate Change, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee Joins 2020 Race

“Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is joining the growing Democratic primary field, making climate change a top issue as he vies to challenge President Trump next year...Inslee is the first to make climate change the central facet of his campaign, which could help him carve out a unique niche. The issue is a rising concern among progressives and millennials especially, evident in the recent push for the Green New Deal in Congress.”

Rolling Stone - Jay Inslee Wants to Be the First Climate President. Is America Ready?

“Inslee is betting that his vision can win, and that a United States government united around the cause of climate change and a speedy transition to a new economy fueled by solar and wind power and producing low-emission vehicles will galvanize voters young and old, black, brown and white. “If you care about the economy, this is for you, because it’s the best job-creation opportunity we have,” he says. “If you care about health care, this is for you, because it’s one of the biggest health threats that we face. It’s national security, obviously. It’s how we use trade policies.”

Vox - Meet the first Democrat running for president on climate change

“After years on the periphery of American political life, climate change is having a bit of a moment….Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who will announce his presidential candidacy Friday morning, is hoping to seize that moment. Over the course of his 30-year career in public life — first in the Washington state legislature, then in the House of Representatives, then, since 2012, governor of Washington state — he has always prioritized sustainability, and not always to his political benefit. Now he sees his signature issue and the national zeitgeist aligning at last, and he thinks it can take him to the White House.”

Vanity Fair - Jay Inslee Announces 2020 Presidential Run to Literally Save the World

“Washington Governor Jay Inslee on Friday formally announced that he is running for president, joining a crowded Democratic primary field as a long-shot candidate with a climate-focused campaign message…. [Inslee’s] been an outspoken critic of the president, telling The Atlantic in January that a strong challenger needs to show voters that “you can help America rise to the better angels rather than our lower behavior.”

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

“The presidential candidate running in the name of climate change has arrived, and his name is Jay Inslee...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.

Huffington Post - Jay Inslee Officially Launches Historic 2020 Bid Centered On Climate Change

“Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Friday became the first major candidate in history to officially launch a White House bid centered entirely on combating climate change...”


March 4, 2019

Inslee Raises $1M in Bid for President

Inslee campaign crosses fundraising milestone

Seattle - Governor Jay Inslee today announced that his 2020 presidential campaign has raised over $1 million in contributions. Inslee, who entered the race on Friday morning, made the announcement tonight during an interview on The Rachel Maddow Show.

Inslee launched his candidacy for president on Friday, saying “this is our moment” to defeat climate change. Inslee has received donations from all 50 states in his climate-focused campaign, as he builds a movement of supporters calling for climate action now.
“This is a major sign of the grassroots support behind our climate mission,” said Inslee campaign manager Aisling Kerins. “In all 50 states, Americans are calling for a president who will put climate change first on the national agenda - and that’s why they’re supporting Gov. Jay Inslee’s campaign for president.”
Inslee made a series of media appearances on Sunday and Monday, appearing on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, ABC’s The View, and MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show.
Gov. Inslee is traveling to Iowa on Tuesday to kick off his “Climate Mission Tour.” He will be in Nevada and California later in the week.


EDF Action
March 1, 2019
Contact:Keith Gaby

Inslee Announcement Demonstrates Political Power of Climate Issue

Statement of EDF Action President Joe Bonfiglio – March 1, 2019

“It is exciting to see so many presidential candidates make climate change a top issue in their campaigns. It reflects the urgency so many American feel about this great challenge, which is translating into real political power for climate solutions.

“Governor Jay Inslee’s announcement is remarkable evidence of this shift – a presidential candidate putting the climate issue at the center of his campaign launch.

“We look forward to all the candidates offering bold solutions that move us to 100% clean energy. It’s long past time that we got serious about cutting climate pollution and leaving a healthier world for our kids.”

-       Joe Bonfiglio, President, EDF Action

# # #

EDFAction ( is at the forefront of educating legislators about developing new solutions that protect the natural world while growing the economy. Through grassroots and direct lobbying, EDFAction amplifies Environmental Defense Fund's ability to champion laws that are based on science, economic incentives, and, above all, the protection of our environment.

Republican National Committee
March 1, 2019

Jay Inslee’s chances of becoming president are exactly what he’s polling at: zero. His campaign will only force Democrats into embracing more extreme policies, like a carbon tax, which would kill jobs, raise energy prices, and disproportionately hurt working-class Americans.” – RNC Communications Director Michael Ahrens


Here’s just some of what you need to know about Inslee:


1. The Seattle Times, 9/12/16; The News Tribune, 12/31/16

2. The Seattle Times, 12/22/15

3. The Seattle Times, 6/27/18

4. Fast Company, 11/9/18

5. MyNorthwest, 2/28/19

RNC Research (Top Takeaways)

Washington Governor Jay Inslee: Jaywalking To Nowhere

Inslee Has Developed A Presidential Platform Based On Extreme Liberalism And Resistance To President Trump


  • Currently polling at “zero percent” among Democratic primary voters, Inslee hopes that his resistance to President Trump will be enough to resonate with the base of the Democratic Party.
  • Inslee first jumped onto the national stage by suing President Trump over the travel ban, which garnered him national cable news attention before losing the case in the Supreme Court.
  • Inslee claims to be a “carbon warrior” on climate change and has praised Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) for her efforts with the Green New Deal, but he failed to pass a carbon tax in liberal Washington State.
  • As governor of Washington, Inslee failed to follow through on a pledge to not raise taxes, instead proposing to raise taxes on the state by $5.5 billion in 2016.
  • In 2015, Inslee was forced to admit that his state allowed 3,200 prison inmates to be “set free” because of a computer glitch that the state had known about for “three years.”
    • Two of the inmates released by the computer glitch were “charged in killings” after their release.
  • In 2018, Inslee’s repeated failures to reform two state run psychiatric hospitals cost Washington State millions of dollars in federal funding for its patients.