Rep. Inslee to resign from Congress for Wash. governor's race

Mar 10, 2012

Rep. Jay Inslee is resigning from Congress to focus full time on running for governor of Washington state this fall.

The Democrat announced his decision Saturday at a news conference in Seattle. Inslee is in his eighth term representing a Seattle-area district in the House.

Less than two weeks ago, Inslee told KPLU that he would remain in Congress while running for the governor's seat.

Inslee said then: “Listen, that did not stop me from putting out my job creation agenda. … Yes, I've got some responsibilities in Washington D.C., but we are pursuing a very vigorous effort to [get] people back to work.”

However he explained on his Website:

Inslee ... said he made the decision very recently after watching the GOP presidential nominees visiting Washington with what Inslee described as a “divisive social issues agenda” and then seeing state Republicans offer budget proposals that slashed education funding.

“It was a difficult decision, but what I need to do right now is focus all my attention on talking to people about what’s really important – creating jobs and growing our economy,” said Inslee. His  resignation is effective March 20.

Washington's Democratic governor, Christine Gregoire, is retiring at the end of her term. Inslee is running against Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna to replace her.

Inslee's 1st District seat will remain vacant until a new representative is elected in November.

He is among 22 Democratic members of the House who are not seeking re-election, along with 16 Republicans. His resignation is effective March 20.