Republicans say Inslee should resign as governor while campaigning for president

    Washington Gov. Jay Inslee speaks, Friday, March 1, 2019, during a campaign event at A&R Solar in Seattle. Inslee announced that he will seek the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, mixing calls for combating climate change and highlights of his liberal record with an aggressive critique of President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

    OLYMPIA, Wash. -- In response to Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announcing his 2020 presidential campaign Friday, Republicans at the state capitol said he should resign as governor because he will be out of the state often to campaign.

    Democrats, however, say they feel confident Inslee can handle both governing and campaigning.

    "I think it's fabulous," said Sen. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle. "It shines a light on Washington state in a fabulous way."

    Democrats say the governor's timing couldn't have been better.

    While he was in Seattle announcing his run for the White House on concerns about climate change, the state senate was passing his hallmark clean energy legislation that would require 100 percent of Washington's electrical power to come from renewable or non-pollution emitting sources by 2045.

    "I think it sends a real strong signal that we're a thoughtful, entrepreneurial, passionate, innovative state and clean energy is not just rhetoric," said Carlyle. "It's the real deal here in Washington state."

    Republicans say it'll drive up energy costs and won't protect the environment.

    "This bill is going to raise the price of energy and it will do absolutely nothing to improve the environment in our state and in our world," said Sen. Curtis King, R-Yakima.

    Watch Gov. Jay Inslee's presidential campaign announcement:

    Republicans say they think the governor should be the governor. They say Inslee shouldn't be leaving this office to run for president. And if so, he should resign.

    "He needs to resign as governor and run for president full time," said Ericksen. "We do have to get work done here in Olympia."

    Democrats argue they can get the work done whether Inslee is physically here or not.

    "I think we can continue forward and do what we need to do as a state government and the governor doesn't have to be in his office every day here in Olympia to get that done," said Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Des Moines.

    While Inslee is out of state campaigning, Lt. Governor Cyrus Habib will be in charge.

    Republicans said he will be getting a 70 percent pay hike every day.

    "I think while he's (Inslee) out of the state, Cyrus Habib is going to make a lot of money," said Sen. Mark Schoesler, R-minority leader. "And I think there's going to be a lot of carbon spewed from the jets he's traveling in."

    In the governor's office, the phones are ringing off the hook. But campaign law prohibits staff from talking about the presidential bid. They have to be sent to the campaign office.

    News In Photos

      Loading ...