By Erin Freeman | Lynnwood Times Staff
Washington State Governor Jay Inslee has emerged as a prospective contender for a cabinet position with the Joe Biden Administration, leaving his gubernatorial seat vacant if accepted.
According to national news outlets, Gov. Inslee may be considered for three cabinet positions, including Secretary of the Interior, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and Secretary of Energy.
Recently securing a rare third term as governor, joining President Biden’s cabinet would mean he would have to leave the governor’s seat in Washington. Gov. Inslee has not addressed any speculation of such but continues to comment on his commitment to serving within Washington.
“I cannot express the honor I feel to be elected to a third term as governor,” said Inslee in an email to the Lynnwood Times. “The people of Washington have given my administration a unique place in history, and I will work hard for you every day, just as I have for the past eight years.”
Nevertheless, if he were to leave his seat in Washington vacant, the state’s Constitution states that Lieutenant Governor Denny Heck would temporarily fill the role, serving as acting governor while retaining his Lt. Gov duties. Secretary of State Kim Wyman would operate as the next in line. In November 2021, Washingtonians would elect a new governor to serve the remainder of Gov. Inslee’s elected term.
Although third in line, if Wyman were to secure the gubernatorial seat, her membership of the Republican party would switch the governor’s office from blue to red for the first time since former Governor John Spellman held office from 1981 to 1985.
Elected in 2013, Gov. Inslee has focused on clean energy and climate change as governor, this platform now signaling him as a contender for the three prospective cabinet positions. Yet he says that he has much more to lead Washington in, than just those platform points.
“We still have much to accomplish together on a number of fronts: supporting frontline workers and first responders; continuing economic growth and recovery that benefits everyone; educating and training our students; fighting climate change; and continuing the fight for diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Inslee.
Gov. Inslee will be providing his budget and policy proposals for the next legislative session this December, telling the Lynnwood Times that he looks forward to getting to work with the Legislature.