It’s a question that threatens to color multiple policy issues in the upcoming legislative session. Will he, or won’t he?
State Republican leaders say Governor Jay Inslee’s presidential aspirations have influenced his recent budget announcements.
“I think his policies may be geared towards Iowa more than Washington. That's just a fact. I think the other thing is it's going to be a good year for the Lieutenant Governor because he's going to get that 70 percent bump in his salary every day the Governor is gone,” said State Senate Minority Leader Mark Schoesler, (R) Ritzville, at a gathering of reporters on Thursday.
The Associated Press Legislative Preview on Thursday allowed party leaders on both sides of the aisle to preview the upcoming session, which starts Monday, and take a couple of shots across the aisle.
“Our system is designed for accommodating the ambitions of individual politicians. I'm sure that we will function, but also it does make it more difficult to focus on good government when you've got a lot that are looking at the next position,” said State House Minority Leader JT Wilcox, (R) Yelm.
Inslee responded at the same summit.
“It's not the case, that’s my best answer - politics you get a lot of criticism, I’m not sure that makes a lot of sense,” Inslee said.
However, the question of a presidential run won’t go away until Inslee declares one way or the other. He’s only been fueling the talk with planned trips to Nevada this weekend, and yet another to New Hampshire later this month. The latter will be for a couple speeches on Inslee’s favorite topic, climate change.
“You can be assured that if I were going to have travels, I got a fantastic story to tell, unsurpassed by anywhere else in the country, and that's about Washington. How the Washington way can produce spectacular economic growth,” Inslee said.