OLYMPIA, Wash. - Governor Jay Inslee has already campaigned for other Democrats, and implicitly for himself, in Iowa and New Hampshire, the first presidential primary states.
Now, with the State Legislature scheduled to begin on Monday, Inslee will first go to Nevada on Saturday to test the waters for a presidential campaign.
We asked legislative leaders about that at the Associated Press Legislative Preview forum Thursday.
“I think that we'll function just fine and that he will be deeply involved at the same time he's running for president,” said Democratic Representative Pat Sullivan, the House Majority Leader
“I think his policies may be geared towards Iowa more than Washington. That's just a fact,” said Republican Senator Mark Schoesler, the Senate Republican Leader.
Asked if he is choosing policies for this state with more of an eye to the primary states, Inslee responded, “It’s not the case. That’s my best answer.”
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Inslee says education and the environment are issues that he’s championed for more than three decades in politics.
And he said the people of Washington State will have is full attention in this legislative session. “You bet.”
“Our system's designed for accommodating the ambitions of individual politicians,” said House Republican Leader, Rep. J. T. Wilcox. “I'm sure that we will function, but I also think it does make it more difficult to focus on good government when you've got a lot of people who are looking at the next position.”
Inslee says he could make his decision on running for president before the end of the legislative session in April.
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