The Democratic candidate for Washington governor, Jay Inslee, today announced that he will step down from his seat in Congress to focus full time on his campaign and talking to voters about rebuilding Washington’s economy and creating jobs for the nearly 300,000 people still out of work.
“I am excited about focusing full-time on talking about my job-creation agenda and building a new economy for Washington state,” Inslee told a group of supporters at his campaign headquarters today. “We have a great chance to seize our own destiny, build our own industries, and create our own technological revolutions right here at home.”
“I am not one for half measures or half-hearted efforts,” continued Inslee. “I am going to leave everything on the field. I am going everywhere and I am going to listen to everybody. If you have an idea, I want to hear it. If you have a problem, I want to know it. If you have a business, I want to help you grow it. I am all in.”
Inslee, who is currently leading in fundraising and running neck-in-neck with his opponent based on recent polls, said he made the decision very recently after watching the GOP presidential nominees visiting Washington with what Inslee described as a “divisive social issues agenda” and then seeing state Republicans offer budget proposals that slashed education funding.
“It was a difficult decision, but what I need to do right now is focus all my attention on talking to people about what’s really important – creating jobs and growing our economy,” said Inslee.
Inslee has represented the 1st Congressional District, which includes Shoreline and Lake Forest Park, since the late 1990s. His resignation is effective March 20.
The seat will remain vacant until the November election. Democrats Darcy Burner, Suzan DelBene, Roger Goodman, Laura Ruderman, Steve Hobbs, Darshan Rauniyar; independent Larry Ishmael; and republicans John Koster and James Watkins are running for the open seat in redrawn districts. The district office in Shoreline will remain open and constituents concerns will be forwarded to Sen. Maria Cantwell, said Inslee spokewoman Jaime Smith.