SEATTLE – Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee announced Thursday morning he is planning to run for a third term serving in the state’s highest office after withdrawing a bid for the White House.
Inslee’s campaign for the presidency began back in the spring and since then he’s been crossing the country. He officially ended his white house ambitions Wednesday.
But the state’s Republican party believes Inslee’s presidential campaign was pure vanity, and that he should pay back taxpayers for the costs of security during his campaign.
Thursday morning, Inslee spoke at Seattle’s Planned Parenthood office during a press conference denouncing President Trump’s Administration’s decision on Title-X funding.
But the press conference was likely overshadowed by Inslee’s announcement that he plans to seek a third term as Washington State’s governor.
“There was one position in Washington, D.C, that I thought I was interested in and I will not be servicing in that capacity,” said Inslee.
Inslee’s presidential campaign focused on climate change. He said he also spent time in other states highlighting what he sees as Washington’s successes.
“The first public health option, the first long term care, the biggest pay increase for our educators, the very first net neutrality bill, a good reproductive parity act, efforts to reform our criminal justice system,” he said.
Other state Democratic elected leaders who also had once planned on running for governor now say they will fully support Inslee seeking a third term.
“I made a decision very early on that if he ran for a third term, I would run for a third term. And once I made that decision, I just don’t believe in looking back,” said state Attorney General Bob Ferguson.
The chair of the Washington State Republican Party believes Inslee is not only a failed presidential candidate but also a failed governor.
In a statement, Chairman Caleb Heimlich said in part that Inslee is responsible for: “Out-of-control homelessness, a spiraling opioid epidemic, numerous department of corrections scandals, loss of funding for western state hospital, horrendous traffic congestion.”
Washington Republicans also believe Inslee should repay the millions of dollars spent on the State Patrol security detail while he ran for president.
But Inslee says he won’t.
“We’re going to follow the Washington law and the Washington law is the State Patrol provides security for the governor and we’re going to follow that law to a T,” Inslee said.
If a Democrat wins the White House in 2020, Inslee insisted he would decline any offers for an appointed position and serve a full term as Governor if elected.