Regional Public Journalism
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Inslee Iowa Trip Likely To Fuel Speculation He May Run For President

Austin Jenkins
Northwest News Network files
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is headed to Iowa--a frequent first stop for presidential hopefuls.

He will headline the Iowa Democratic Party’s Hall of Fame Celebration next month. The trip is sure to fuel more speculation that he's  is eyeing a run for president.

Inslee has been ducking, dodging and weaving when asked if he’s got presidential ambitions.

Here’s how he responded to the question last week on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program: “We have to win in 2018, and so I am going around the country helping governors win right now.”

Inslee is the chair of the Democratic Governors Association this year.

The Iowa Democratic Party says it invited him to be their speaker next month because they’ve got a big governor’s race brewing.

A party spokeswoman called it “pretty much a no-brainer” to invite Inslee. He’s emerged as leading voice of opposition to President Donald Trump and his policies on issues like immigration and climate change.

At the same time, Democrats nationally look to Washington state as paving the way on issues like minimum wage, family leave and voting rights.

"Governor Inslee was pleased to accept the invite of the Iowa Democratic Party," Jamal Raad, a spokesman for Inslee, said in a statement. "Inslee is committed to doing all he can to elect more Democratic governors who will drive progress at the state level and be a check against the chaos of the Trump administration.”

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."