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Who is Jay Inslee? A bio of the Democratic presidential candidate
Angie Drobnic Holan
By Angie Drobnic Holan June 13, 2019

Editor's note: This story is part of PolitiFact’s ongoing coverage of the 2020 campaign; these reports will be updated as the campaign continues. For more candidate profiles and fact-checking, go to

Most Democrats say that climate change is a key issue, but Jay Inslee has gone further and made it the central issue of his campaign. The governor of Washington  says moving the U.S. economy to renewable energy will create jobs and has foreign policy implications. "This is a national security threat, because it’s going to drive mass migrations and destabilize governments around the world," Inslee said in an interview on "The View." "This is not just an environmental issue, this is an issue that touches everything we hold dear."

Though focusing his campaign on one issue, Inslee has a long record in elected office and touts accomplishments on the economy, family leave and minimum wage. He served eight terms as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and is in his second term as governor. At a meeting between President Donald Trump and governors from around the country in February 2018, Inslee challenged Trump directly about a proposal to arm teachers to prevent school shootings. "I just suggest we need a little less tweeting here and a little more listening. And let's just take that off the table and move forward," Inslee told Trump.

Inslee has also challenged the Trump administration on its immigration and refugee policies, advocating for more Syrian refugees to be allowed into the United States. At home in Washington, Inslee has been criticized by Republicans for his frequent travel on the issue of climate change and opposing policies of the Trump administration.

Name: Jay Inslee

Current occupation: governor of Washington

Party: Democratic Party

Federal offices: U.S. House of Representatives, 1993-95 (4th District); 1999-2012 (1st District)

Key votes: in favor of the 1994 assault weapons ban, for $820 billion stimulus bill after 2008 recession, supported the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, against the Iraq War in 2003, in favor of NAFTA, for the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, against Brady Handgun Bill, for the Patriot Act, for cap and trade bill, against the repeal of the Glass Steagall Act

State and local offices: Governor, elected in 2012 and re-elected in 2016. Washington House of Representatives, 1989-1993. Selah, Wash., city prosecutor, 1976-1984

Private sector work: Lawyer in private practice

Military: None. Received student deferment during the Vietnam War.

Books authored: "Apollo's Fire: Igniting America's Clean Energy Economy," with Bracken Hendricks, 2009

Education: B.A., University of Washington, 1972. J.D., Willamette University School of Law, 1976.

Birth date: February 9, 1951

Personal life: Spouse is Trudi Inslee, three children, three grandchildren

Religion: Christian

Top issues: Climate change

Major donors: As a congressman, Inslee received donations from labor and from employees of Microsoft, based in Washington.

Miscellaneous: His website says he is "an avid cyclist and hiker. He enjoys sketching scenes from around Washington, and writing and illustrating books for his grandchildren."

Other coverage: PolitiFact’s Truth-O-Meter; Interview on The View, March 2019; profile in the Seattle Times, March 2019; USA Today on Inslee confronting Trump on school shootings, February 2018; Republicans criticize Inslee travel, August 2018.

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Who is Jay Inslee? A bio of the Democratic presidential candidate