The race for the democratic nomination in the 2020 election offers 23 democratic candidates. Arguably, the most unique and unknown candidate right now is Gov. Jay Inslee. This is because his whole platform is focused on one topic: climate change. Inslee believes that the government’s priority should be to build a clean energy economy and to fight climate change.
Gov. Inslee was born in Seattle, Washington on Feb 9, 1951. He graduated from the University of Washington in 1973 with a Bachelors of Art. He then went to Willamette Law School where he graduated in 1976 with a Juris Doctor degree. He served in the House of Representatives from 1989-1993. In 1992, he was elected to represent Washington’s 4th congressional district. He was defeated for reelection in 1994 and he then returned to private practice. He ran and won a seat in the House of Representatives again in 1999 and stayed as a representative until 2012. After he left the House, he ran for governor in 2013 and has been governor of Washington State since. He entered the presidential race on March 1, 2019.
As governor, Inslee has been focused on facilitating the expansion of green energy and adding more jobs to established industries. Since becoming governor, Washington has experienced a 30-year low in unemployment.
So far, Jay Inslee’s campaign has been rather subdued compared to the other candidates. He hasn’t been able to grab national attention like Kamala Harris or Pete Buttigieg. This has led several analysts to believe that he is only running to bring environmental topics to the forefront of the national campaign. In the polls, he has been fluctuating in-between zero and one percent.
Jay Inslee’s campaign is very focused on climate change. He says that he realized it was an immediate crisis after visiting multiple wild fire sites. It’s not bad to have a primary focus on the campaign trail, and it’s a good way to build a base and to cultivate national attention. The thing is that Gov. Inslee has boxed himself into one topic. No one who is passively watching the race may know what his position is on education, welfare, or immigration. His website lists separate issues that all relate back to the environment. When a voter looks at a candidate, they usually want to see where they stand on a range of issues and their plans to combat them. Governor Inslee has policy plans, but only ones catered to fight climate change. To find his positions on other topics, voters would have to make assumptions using his career history and sift through tons of interviews from the last couple of years. That puts a lot of responsibilities on the voters, instead of putting the focus on voter interests.
It’s too early in the election to dismiss Jay Inslee; he has plenty of time to turn it around. As of right now, he is a single-policy candidate with really good ideas. Unless he starts commenting on more issues in an accessible place, however, he has no chance of winning the democratic primary.