Jay Inslee

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Jay Inslee
Jay Inslee.jpg
Governor of Washington
In office
January 16, 2013-present
Term ends
Years in position 2
PredecessorChristine Gregoire (D)
Base salary$166,891
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedNovember 6, 2012
Next generalNovember 8, 2016
Campaign $$20,614,098
Term limitsNone
Prior offices
U.S. House of Representatives
1993-1995; 1999-March 10, 2012
Washington House of Representatives
City prosecutor, Selah, Washington
High schoolIngraham High School, Washington
Bachelor'sUniversity of Washington
J.D.Willamette University School of Law
OtherStanford University (did not earn degree)
Date of birthFebruary 9, 1951
Place of birthSeattle, Washington
ReligionNon-denominational Protestant
Office website
Personal website
Campaign website
Jay Robert Inslee (b. February 9, 1951, in Seattle, WA) is the 23rd and current Governor of Washington. A Democrat, he was first elected on November 6, 2012, and sworn into office on January 16, 2013.[1]

Inslee narrowly defeated Rob McKenna in the 2012 general election.[1] Due to the closeness of the race, McKenna did not concede until November 9.[2] It was the first gubernatorial race in state history that was exclusively vote-by-mail.[3]

Prior to becoming governor, Inslee was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Washington's 1st Congressional District from 1999 until his resignation March 10, 2012 in order to focus his energies on his 2012 bid for governor.[4]

Inslee represented Washington's 4th Congressional District from 1993-1995 and was a member of the state House from 1988-1992.[5]

Inslee co-authored the 2007 book Apollo's Fire, which called for a clean energy economic revolution. He has made clean energy his dominant issue.[6] The first bill he signed as governor was a climate bill aimed at meeting greenhouse gas emission limits that were passed in 2008.[7]


Inslee was born in Seattle, Washington. He attended Stanford University from 1969 to 1970, earned his B.A. from the University of Washington in 1972, and earned a J.D. from Willamette University School of Law in 1976.[8]


  • Bachelor's degree in economics - University of Washington
  • Juris Doctor - Willamette University School of Law

Political career

Inslee went into private practice before pursuing his political career.

Governor of Washington (2013-present)

Inslee was elected Governor of Washington in 2012, following a very close and heated race. During the election, Inslee focused on issues such as job creation, infrastructure improvement and education.[9]

Response to Troy Kelley federal investigation

See also: State Auditor recall, Washington (2015)

Inslee called for the resignation of Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley (D) in April 2015 following his indictment on 10 charges including possession of stolen property.

Kelley and department employee Jason JeRue became entangled in a federal grand jury investigation into past business dealings in March 2015. A subpoena issued by the jury on March 5 sought emails between Kelley and JeRue related to Post Closing Department, an escrow firm previously owned by Kelley accused of withholding $1.2 million in refunds from a former client. Kelley denied any connection to the firm's actions and agreed to a settlement to resolve the case in 2011. Federal treasury agents searched Kelley's home as part of the investigation on March 16. Gov. Jay Inslee (D) called on Kelley to recuse himself from official duties dealing with the case but did not ask for his resignation. State Sen. Mark Miloscia (R) asked for greater transparency, saying, "The people and voters of this state deserve an explanation so we can understand the reason for these events and be able to make our own decisions about what it means or choose to investigate further. This must happen very quickly if we’re going to keep public trust in our government."[10] On May 4, JeRue was fired from the agency after several weeks of unpaid leave.[11]

Kelley's office handed over 53 emails from his office email account sent between January 1 and March 19, though none of these emails involved JeRue. State Rep. Dan Kristiansen (R) expressed skepticism that Kelley and JeRue had not maintained contact given their longstanding friendship, saying, "You'd think there would be communiques they exchange in the course of operations, the way we all live now." Kelley and JeRue met in the late 1990s and the auditor hired JeRue as a part-time technical writer following his election in 2012.[12]

Grand jury indictment

See the full text of the indictment here

On April 16, 2015, the federal grand jury indicted Kelley on 10 charges including possession of stolen property, four counts of false declaration and attempted obstruction of civil lawsuit related to his tenure as owner of Post Closing Department. The indictment also concluded that Kelley hid $2,581,653 in funds from the Internal Revenue Service. Kelley pleaded not guilty to the charges but announced in a statement that he would take a leave of absence on May 1 to mount his legal defense.[13] Kelley ultimately took his unpaid leave from office starting May 4.[14] Gov. Inslee made the following statement after announcement of the indictment:

This indictment today makes it clear to me that Troy Kelley cannot continue as state auditor. He should resign immediately. An appointee can restore confidence in the office and assure the public that the Office of the State Auditor will operate at the high standards required of the post. [15]

The Seattle Times, (2015) [13]

Kelley appeared before U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Leighton on May 8. If Kelley resigns, Inslee would appoint a replacement though the length of an appointee's term would depend on the timing of the resignation. The first day to file declarations of candidacy for Washington's 2015 elections was May 11. A resignation prior to May 11 would have triggered a special election in November 2015 for the remainder of Kelley's term ending January 2017. A resignation after May 11 would mean Inslee's appointee would serve until the next general election in November 2016. Kelley would be forced by state law to resign office if he is convicted of a felony.[13][16]

Calls for resignation
Within 24 hours of Kelley's indictment, high-ranking officials called for his resignation including Attorney General Bob Ferguson (D), State Treasurer Jim McIntire (D), Secretary of State Kim Wyman (R) and the state Democratic Party. These calls for resignation are due in part to the difficulty of impeaching or recalling a statewide official. The state constitution allows for impeachment of state executive officials with a majority of the Washington House of Representatives and two-thirds of the Washington State Senate based on charges of high crimes, misdemeanors or malfeasance. A conviction on a felony charge qualifying as a high crime or misdemeanor would lead to Kelley's resignation. The malfeasance clause only deals with actions taken in office while the federal indictment covers Kelley's pre-election career.[17]

State legislators propose "leave of absence" appointment rule
State Reps. Drew Stokesbary (R) and Drew MacEwen (R) introduced House Bill 2249 on April 28, in hopes of expanding the governor's power to replace absent elected officials. HB 2249 would allow the governor to appoint a full-time replacement for any elected official who has taken a leave of absence unrelated to medical issues or military duties. This proposal would expand appointment powers beyond the high crimes, misdemeanor or malfeasance requirements for replacement.[18]

Death penalty

On February 11, 2014, Governor Inslee suspended the death penalty in Washington by issuing stays of execution to its nine death row prisoners.[19] He is not issuing pardons or commuting any sentences as part of this suspension.

In a statement, the governor's office explained Inslee's reasoning. "Inslee said it is clear to him that use of capital punishment is inconsistent and unequal, and it’s time to have a conversation about ensuring equal justice under the law. 'Equal justice under the law is the state’s primary responsibility. And in death penalty cases, I’m not convinced equal justice is being served.'"[20]

U.S. House of Representatives (1999-2012)

Committee assignments


Inslee was a member of the following committees:[21][22]

On The Issues Vote Match

Jay Inslee's Vote Match results from On The Issues.
See also: On The Issues Vote Match

On The Issues conducts a VoteMatch analysis of elected officials based on 20 issue areas. Rather than relying on incumbents to complete the quiz themselves, the VoteMatch analysis is conducted using voting records, statements to the media, debate transcripts or citations from books authored by or about the candidate. Based on the results of the quiz, Inslee is a Populist-Leaning Liberal. Inslee received a score of 66 percent on social issues and 15 percent on economic issues.[23] Note: We are working to resolve inaccuracies with this information. Thank you for your patience.

On The Issues organization logo.



See also: Washington gubernatorial election, 2012

Inslee was elected Governor of Washington in the 2012 election. He finished first in the August 7th blanket primary and narrowly defeated Republican attorney general Rob McKenna in the general election, which took place on November 6, 2012.[24] Due to the closeness of the race, Inslee was not declared the winner for three days after the polls closed. McKenna conceded the election on the evening of November 9, 2012.[1]

Governor of Washington General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJay Inslee 51.5% 1,582,802
     Republican Rob McKenna 48.5% 1,488,245
Total Votes 3,071,047
Election Results via Washington Secretary of State.
Governor of Washington, Primary, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJay Inslee 47.1% 664,534
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngRob McKenna 42.9% 604,872
     Republican Shahram Hadian 3.3% 46,169
     Democratic Rob Hill 3.2% 45,453
     Independent James White 1% 13,764
     No Party Preference Christian Joubert 0.7% 10,457
     Independent L. Dale Sorgen 0.7% 9,734
     Republican Max Sampson 0.6% 8,753
     Republican Javier O. Lopez 0.4% 6,131
Total Votes 1,409,867
Election Results via Washington Secretary of State (dead link)'

Campaign themes

Inslee outlined his priorities and plans for the governorship on his official campaign website. Key issues include, but are not limited to:[25]

  • Jobs
Excerpt: "I'm working to build an economy where good-paying jobs are created and provide hope to the middle class that their hard work once again really matters; an economy that rewards innovative, creative thinking; an economy that puts Washington State at the forefront of a clean energy revolution in job creation." Download Inslee's jobs plan in pdf.
  • Education

Excerpt: "As governor, I will rebuild our public education system where we are currently falling short and expand on those things that we’re doing right. This is a plan based on data and evidence of what works, not on ideology." Download Inslee's education plan in pdf.

  • Transportation

Excerpt: "Investing in transportation infrastructure creates needed construction jobs today, lays the foundation for the job growth of tomorrow and keeps Washington competitive in an internationally competitive world. It is a legacy we leave future generations."

  • Health care reform

On September 20th, Inslee's campaign released a policy paper that laid out his plans to include Washington in the voluntary Medicaid expansion provided by the federal government under Obamacare. Taking an opposite stance from critics of the landmark federal healthcare law, the majority of whom are Republican and believe the medicaid expansion will add inordinate expense to states' already cumbersome health care bills, Inslee's paper discusses how the expansion could actually help heal financial woes for states that struggle to cover the costs incurred by medicaid patients. Although participating states will increase their enrollment, Inslee asserts that the added cost will be more than offset by the associated federal funding they will receive in the short-run. If elected, he wants to curb childhood obesity at the school cafeteria level, and implement an incentive-based plan for improving care and management, especially regarding chronic medical conditions, wherein providers are paid in proportion to treatment outcomes and quality.[26]

2012 Polls

Jay Inslee v. Rob McKenna
Poll Jay Inslee (D) Rob McKenna (R)UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Public Policy Polling
February 16-19, 2012
Survey USA
May 8-9, 2012
Elway Research
June 13-16, 2012
Public Policy Polling
June 14-17, 2012
SurveyUSA/KING 5 News
July 2012
SurveyUSA/KING 5 News
August 3
Elway Poll
September 12
Rasmussen Reports Poll
(September 26, 2012)
AVERAGES 42.38% 42.5% 14.63% +/-4.11 682.63
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.

2012 Endorsements

Click [show] to expand the list of endorsements.

Money in the race


Inslee's top financial support in the 2012 governor's race is from Our Washington, a PAC composed of labor groups and the Democratic Governor's Association which raised $7.9 million to fund Inslee's campaign as well as an independent campaign to defeat Republican Rob McKenna. A large portion of the independent expenditures went to negative advertising against McKenna, whose own top donor, the Republican Governor's Association, gave $11.38 million to the opposing cause.[28]

Jay Inslee Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
First Report[29]July 17, 2012$0.00$826,300.17$(1,398,987.10)$2,801,491.26
Pre-Primary ReportJuly 31, 2012$2,801,491.26$255,788.41$(596,331.44)$2,461,553.23
Post-Primary Report[30]September 11, 2012$2,461,553.23$1,229,101.43$(412,053.13)$3,374,034.26
First GeneralOctober 16, 2012$3,374,034.26$2,125,043.02$(4,342,010.21)$1,157,067.07
Running totals


On November 2, 2010, Inslee won re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives, defeating James Watkins (R).[31]

U.S. House of Representatives General Election, Washington, Congressional District 1, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJay Inslee Incumbent 57.7% 172,642
     Republican James Watkins 42.3% 126,737
Total Votes 299,379

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Inslee is available dating back to 1996. Based on available campaign finance records, Inslee raised a total of $20,614,098 during that time period. This information was last updated on May 7, 2013.[32]

Jay Inslee's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Governor of Washington Won $12,469,895
2010 U.S. House (Washington, District 1) Won $1,403,962
2008 U.S. House (Washington, District 1) Won $1,033,928
2006 U.S. House (Washington, District 1) Won $883,376
2004 U.S. House (Washington, District 1) Won $933,222
2002 U.S. House (Washington, District 1) Won $1,433,746
2000 U.S. House (Washington, District 1) Won $2,009,409
1996 Governor of Washington Defeated $446,560
Grand Total Raised $20,614,098


Inslee won election to the position of Governor of Washington in 2012. During that election cycle, Inslee raised a total of $12,469,895.


Breakdown of the source of Inslee's campaign funds before the 2010 election.

Inslee won re-election to the U.S. House in 2010. During that re-election cycle, Inslee's campaign committee raised a total of $1,403,962 and spent $1,270,456.[33]


Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Jackson paid his congressional staff a total of $962,114 in 2011. Overall, Washington ranks 18th in average salary for representative staff. The average U.S. House of Representatives congressional staff was paid $954,912.20 in fiscal year 2011.[34]

Staff bonuses

According to an analysis by CNN, Inslee was one of nearly 25 percent of House members who gave their staff bonuses in 2012. Inslee's staff was given an apparent $14,791.31 in bonus money.[35]

Net worth

See also: Changes in Net Worth of U.S. Senators and Representatives (Personal Gain Index) and Net worth of United States Senators and Representatives

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Inslee's net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $106,023 to $541,000. That averages to $323,511.50, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic representatives in 2010 of $4,465,875.[36]

Political positions

Voting with party

November 2011

Inslee voted with the Democratic Party 91.4 percent of the time, which ranked 128 among the 192 House Democratic members as of November 2011.[37]


Inslee and his wife, Trudi, have three children and one grandchild.[21]

State profile

Washington's population in 2014 was 7,061,530.

Washington's population in 2014 was 7,061,530 according to the United States Census Bureau. This estimate represented a 5 percent increase from the bureau's 2010 estimate. The state's population per square mile was 101.2 in 2010, exceeding the national average of 87.4.

Washington experienced a 0.3 percent increase in total employment from 2011 to 2012 based on census data, falling below the 2.2 percent increase at the national level during the same period.[38]


Washington exceeded the national average for residents who attained at least bachelor's degrees based on census data from 2009 to 2013. The United States Census Bureau found that 31.9 percent of Washington residents aged 25 years and older attained bachelor's degrees compared to 28.8 percent at the national level.

The median household income in Washington was $59,478 between 2009 and 2013 compared to a $53,046 national median income. Census information showed a 14.1 percent poverty rate in Washington during the study period compared to a 14.5 percent national poverty rate.[38]

Racial Demographics, 2013[38]
Race Washington (%) United States (%)
White 81.2 77.7
Black or African American 4.0 13.2
American Indian and Alaska Native 1.9 1.2
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.7 0.2
Asian 7.9 5.3
Two or More Races 4.7 2.4
Hispanic or Latino 11.2 17.1

Presidential Voting Pattern, 2000-2012[39][40]
Year Democratic vote in Washington (%) Republican vote in Washington (%) Democratic vote in U.S. (%) Republican vote in U.S. (%)
2012 56.2 41.3 51.1 47.2
2008 57.7 40.5 52.9 45.7
2004 52.8 45.6 48.3 50.7
2000 50.2 44.6 48.4 47.9

Note: Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" percentage, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one- or two-tenths off. Read more about race and ethnicity in the Census here.[41]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the terms "Jay Inslee Governor Washington."

Some of the stories below may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of Google's news search engine.

Jay Inslee - Google News Feed

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See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Spokesman Review, "Democrat Inslee will be Washington governor," November 9, 2012
  2. The Olympian, "It's over: McKenna concedes to Inslee in gov's race," November 9, 2012
  3. The Olympian, "McKenna, Inslee campaigns don't expect winner tonight," November 6, 2012
  4. Huffington Post, "Jay Inslee, Washington Conressman, resigning to focus on gubernatorial campaign," March 10, 2012
  5. Project Vote Smart, "Governor Jay Robert Inslee's Biography," accessed April 29, 2013
  6. Energy Priorities, "Perspectives," October 18, 2007
  7. Take Part, "Why Washington’s Jay Inslee Is the Greenest Governor in America," April 12, 2013
  8. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, "INSLEE, Jay Robert, (1951 - )"
  9. Jay Inslee Democrat for Governor, "Meet Jay," February 13, 2014
  10. Q13 Fox, "Federal subpoena of State Auditor Troy Kelley’s office seeks records of employee," March 20, 2015
  11. KREM, "Employee with ties to investigation of WA auditor fire," May 4, 2015
  12. Greenfield Reporter, "State: No emails between Auditor Troy Kelley and employee who is longtime associate," April 2, 2015
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 The Seattle Times, "Auditor Troy Kelley indicted by feds, pleads not guilty," April 16, 2015
  14. SFGate, "Auditor Troy Kelley says unpaid leave will start Monday," April 28, 2015
  15. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  16. Washington State Legislature, "RCW 42.12.040 Vacancy in partisan elective office — Successor elected — When," accessed April 16, 2015
  17. The Spokesman-Review, "Spin Control: Ousting state auditor Troy Kelley may be difficult," April 19, 2015
  18. KREM, "Wash. lawmakers intro bill in response to Auditor's leave," April 28, 2015
  19. The Washington Post, "Washington governor suspends death penalty," February 13, 2014
  20. Washington Governor Jay Inslee, "Gov. Jay Inslee announces capital punishment moratorium," February 13, 2014
  21. 21.0 21.1 Official House website, "About Jay," accessed November 11, 2011
  22. United States Congressman Jay Inslee, Washington's 1st Congressional District, "Jay Inslee"
  23. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named ontheissues
  24. Washington Secretary of State, "August 7, 2012 Primary Results: State executives," accessed August 8, 2012
  25. Jay Inslee Official Campaign Website, "Issues," accessed September 6, 2012
  26. The Seattle Times, "Inslee would embrace Medicaid expansion as Governor," September 21, 2012
  27. Jay Inslee Official Campaign Website, "Endorsements," accessed September 6, 2012
  28. The Seattle Times, "Republican Governor’s Association now in for $11.3 million for Rob McKenna," October 16, 2012
  29. Washington Public Disclosure Commission, "Jay Inslee," accessed July 19, 2012
  30. Washington Public Disclosure Commission, "Jay Inslee Actual Reports," accessed September 10, 2012
  31. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
  32. Follow the Money, " Career fundraising for Jay Inslee," accessed May 7, 2013
  33. Open Secrets, "Jay Inslee 2010 Election Cycle," accessed November 11, 2011
  34. LegiStorm, "Jay Inslee," accessed September 7, 2012
  35. CNN Politics, "Congressional bonuses in a time of cuts," accessed March 8, 2013
  36. OpenSecrets, "Jay Inslee (D-Wash), 2010," accessed September 7, 2012
  37. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  38. 38.0 38.1 38.2 United States Census Bureau, "QuickFacts Beta," accessed March 24, 2015
  39. Washington Secretary of State, "Previous Elections," accessed April 14, 2015
  40. The American Presidency Project, "Presidential Elections Data," accessed March 24, 2015
  41. United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Christine Gregoire (D)
Governor of Washington
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Rick White
U.S. House of Representatives - Washington, District 1
Succeeded by
Suzanne Bonamici (D)
Preceded by
Sid Morrison
U.S. House of Representatives - Washington, District 4
Succeeded by
Doc Hastings
Preceded by
Washington House of Representatives
Succeeded by
Preceded by
City prosecutor, Selah, Washington
Succeeded by