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Gov. Jay Inslee
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Yes or no: Is Jay Inslee planning to run for president?

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee speaks in front of Western State Hospital in Lakewood. (File, Associated Press)

There are several aspects of Gov. Jay Inslee’s political life that have caused people to pause and wonder if he’s planning a run for president in 2020. And refusing to answer a yes/no question just further fuels that speculation.

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A spokesperson for the governor in his capacity as chair of the Democratic Governors Association told The Seattle Times this when asked to answer simply if the Washington governor planned to run for president: Look, I think that anyone who is thinking past 2018 is doing a disservice to the party.

Earlier this month, DJ Wilson with Washington State Wire laid out his reasoning for why he believes Inslee is considering a presidential run. He pointed to Inslee’s recent travel schedule, which included out-of-country trips to speak on panels, including one on climate change; and the governor’s work to build fundraising infrastructure for the Democratic Party.

On May 21, the Washington State Republican Party criticized Inslee for as much.

“*UPDATE*,” a tweet from the party read. “@GovInslee spotted promoting himself 1,762 miles away in Iowa… still missing from Washington State.”

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In June, Inslee will be the keynote speaker at the Iowa Democratic Party Hall of Fame celebration. The reason, according to the party’s website, is because the Washington governor “has been a beacon of progress for the nation, expanding access to voting rights, taking steps to reduce gun violence, providing paid sick and the best-paid family leave policies in the nation and raising minimum wage, all while having the strongest state economy in the nation … a stark contrast to the dysfunction in the other Washington.”

Additional actions by Inslee that fueled the speculative fires included confronting President Trump in person over gun control. As the president pushed the idea of arming teachers, Inslee fought back, saying teachers don’t want to be armed. He also added this jab: “we need a little less tweeting, a little more listening.”

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