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Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is ready “to pass the torch” as he announced on Monday that he will not be running for re-election in 2024.
“Today I announced I will not be running for a fourth term. We’ve made Washington a beacon for progress, and now it’s time to pass the torch,” the Democrat said in his announcement.
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Inslee was elected governor in 2012 and has served for three consecutive terms. He calls his longevity in office “my greatest honor.”
Inslee began his career in politics as a state legislator, serving in the Washington State House from 1989–1993. He was then elected as a U.S. Representative in the 1st (1999–2012) and 4th Congressional Districts (1993–1995).
Inslee has since achieved many political milestones as the governor of Washington, such as the Democrat’s climate change initiatives to reduce carbon emissions, achieving the lowest COVID death rate in the country, and most recently, introducing further restrictions in an effort to curb gun violence.
“Our last decade of Washington’s storied history is one of growth and innovation. I am proud to have played a role in our state’s leadership on many fronts. We’ve passed the nation’s best climate policies, the most successful family leave benefits, the best college scholarship programs, a fair legal justice system, and the most protective actions against gun violence. We’ve shown that diversity is a strength worth fighting for. This has been ten years of dynamic success,” Inslee said in a statement.
Earlier this month, Inslee became the first governor of the United States to ban AR-15s, AK-47s, and similar semi-automatic rifles, which has been a controversial issue among politicians and Americans amid increasingly violent use of guns.
“Today, we’re standing on the right side of history by taking action on gun violence to improve the health, safety, and lives of Washingtonians,” Inslee said at the time, before signing the bill into law.
“No one needs an AR-15 to protect your family,” Inslee added about the new law. “You only need it to kill other families.”
Inslee has faced criticism for certain policy actions during his terms as Washington governor.
“HB 1240 clearly violates our state and federal constitutions, which is why it will end up in court immediately,” Sen. Lynda Wilson of Vancouver said of the semi-automatic rifle ban in a statement.
Despite the criticism, Inslee is proud of the accomplishments he has achieved that he believes has improved the lives of the people he has served during his reign.
“As governor, I have seen my role as inspiring our state ever forward and ever higher. I’m gratified to be able to say that this approach has worked to improve Washingtonians’ lives in many ways and in many places,” Inslee said in a statement.
Inslee’s list of accomplishments includes passing the Clean Energy Transformation Act to transition 100 percent to zero-carbon energy by 2045, improving equity across Washington’s legal justice system through prioritizing more diverse judicial appointments, and pushing back on Republican efforts to roll back abortion access and gender-related care by strengthening legal protections for providers and patients and expanding access, among many others listed by the governor’s office.
Possible candidates for Washinton’s next governor include Democrats Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz, according to the Seattle Times, along with former Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, who might consider a run for the position, according to The Dispatch.
Inslee is committed to continuing to improve Washington and make positive impacts during the remainder of his term until a new governor is elected into office. His term ends on Jan. 13, 2025.
“Now is the time to intensely focus on all we can accomplish in the next year and a half, and I intend to do just that. I look forward to continued partnership with legislators and community leaders to address Washington’s homelessness crisis, speed our efforts to expand behavioral health services, continue our fight against climate change, and continue making Washington a beacon of progress for all,” Inslee concluded in his statement.
Article cross-posted from our premium news partners at The Epoch Times. Image by Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons,