A fifth-generation Washingtonian who has lived in both Eastern and Western Washington
Jay Inslee is a fifth generation Washingtonian, born in 1951 to Frank, a biology teacher at Garfield and Sealth high schools, and Adele, who worked as a sales clerk at Sears and Roebuck. Jay grew up in White Center. He played competitive sports, and after graduating from Ingraham High School, married his high school sweetheart, Trudi. Jay and Trudi then spent nearly 20 years working and raising their three sons in the Yakima Valley.
Jay first got into public service to fight for a new public high school in Selah in 1985. He then went on to represent the 14th legislative district in the state House of Representatives and in 1992 was elected to Congress from Eastern Washington. Jay later moved back to the Puget Sound area and was elected to Congress in 1998 where he served until 2012.
Having lived on both sides of the Cascades, Jay understands the economic frustrations facing families all across Washington State. He’s worked several jobs in his life, from driving cement trucks, running jackhammers and painting houses, to prosecuting criminals and drunk drivers, and teaching at a community college. He has a profound respect for all work and all workers.
An independent leader who fights for working families
In Congress, Jay was known as a forward-thinking leader who stands up for people, even if it meant bucking his own party. His record reflects an independent-minded approach and a thoughtful foresight about the future global economy.
More than a decade ago, when Congress took the first steps toward our economic calamity by deregulating the banks and eliminating safeguards that had been in place since the Depression, Inslee was one of the few who voted no.
When our nation’s leaders dragged America into an unnecessary and costly war in Iraq based on false claims, Inslee resisted the political pressure and opposed going to war.
In the midst of our economic crisis in 2008, Congress was pressured into passing an $800 billion bailout of the big banks at taxpayer expense. Inslee again bucked his party leadership and voted no on the bailout.
And long before others recognized the job-creation potential of the clean energy industry, Jay was working to convince our nation’s leaders that we could be the ones leading in this new economic frontier and putting thousands of people to work in good-paying jobs.
A national leader in clean energy and working to create jobs
Jay co-wrote a book called “Apollo’s Fire: Igniting America’s Clean-Energy Economy” and is a recognized leader on clean energy and the job-creation potential it holds. He’s fought for investments in innovative energy sources such as biofuels, solar, and wind, and has helped businesses across Washington produce and consume clean energy, creating jobs here at home.
Over the last 20 years, while living and representing people on both sides of the Cascades, Jay has worked successfully to open up trade opportunities for Washington apples, and helped protect Boeing workers by writing the amendment that required a fair playing field with foreign competition for the recent Air Force tanker contract.
As governor, Jay will provide visionary leadership that not only strengthens our current industries, but also grows a new economy based on the clean-energy jobs of the future.
Jay holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Washington and earned his law degree from Willamette University.