Politics & Government

Inslee hits the road for a week of presidential campaigning and a CNN town hall

Inslee on balancing demands of governing state with run for president

Washington state governor Jay Inslee talks to the editorial board of The News Tribune in Tacoma, December 14, 2018. The question of his potential run for president and how it will affect his work as governor came up.
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Washington state governor Jay Inslee talks to the editorial board of The News Tribune in Tacoma, December 14, 2018. The question of his potential run for president and how it will affect his work as governor came up.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee will get his turn in the national cable-news spotlight this week, taking voter questions Wednesday during a CNN Town Hall.

It’s part of a weeklong presidential campaign tour that will take the governor to the early 2020 caucus and primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. Inslee was scheduled to leave the state Tuesday morning, returning the next Tuesday, according to the governor’s office.

Inslee’s CNN town hall, moderated by Wolf Blitzer, will be broadcast Wednesday from Washington, D.C., starting at 7 p.m. Pacific. CNN has been hosting a string of town halls with all the Democratic candidates vying to take on President Donald Trump. Inslee’s turn is sandwiched between U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York on Tuesday and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro on Thursday. The governor’s politics-focused trip includes one official event: Inslee is scheduled to speak at Columbia University’s Global Energy Summit in New York on Wednesday. He’ll remain in the city Thursday, appearing on “CBS This Morning” and MSNBC’s “The Beat with Ari Melber.”

His itinerary includes Iowa on Friday, New Hampshire on Sunday, and South Carolina on Monday. On Friday, Inslee will travel to Hamburg, Iowa, where he’ll tour damage from recent flooding and visit a flood assistance center to meet with volunteers. Later that day, he is to discuss his campaign’s singular theme of fighting climate change at a meet-and-greet with Democrats and community members in Council Bluffs.On Sunday, he will head to New Hampshire for a town hall with progressive groups and recording of a live episode of “Pod Save America,” the popular politics podcast hosted by former aides to President Obama.

Inslee on Monday will make his first visit as a candidate to South Carolina, touring solar facilities at Furman University in Greenville, participating in a town hall at a Baptist church and meeting with the Greenville County Democratic Party.

Inslee’s presidential campaign covers the cost of his political travel, but taxpayers foot the bill for the State Patrol’s Executive Protection Unit. The patrol, required by law to protect the governor and his family, recently expanded its security unit and estimates that it will cost an additional $4 million if Inslee remains in the race into next year.

Inslee has declined calls for his campaign to reimburse the state for those security costs.

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