U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee appeared to criticize his fellow Democrats when introducing his campaign for governor to Spokane on Tuesday.
“Frankly, we need some new blood in Olympia,” Inslee said in his speech. “Having not been in Olympia, I think I'm in pretty good shape to bring a little new blood to Olympia and stop some of the ossification that has happened there.”
Democrats control the state House, state Senate and governor's office.
Besides highlighting his time outside Olympia, he also stressed his time outside the Puget Sound.
“Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a governor who's lived outside the shadow of the Space Needle for once?” Inslee said.
Inslee, who lives on Bainbridge Island, lived near Yakima when he first served in Congress in the early 1990s.
The path for Inslee to run for governor was cleared this month when Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire announced that she will not run next year for a third term. State Attorney General Rob McKenna, a Republican, announced his candidacy for governor this month.
Inslee spoke at the former Great Northern Railroad repair depot east of downtown, which is being converted into the regional headquarters for McKinstry, a construction firm that specializes in energy savings.
The McKinstry building was chosen for the event to highlight Inslee's support of tax credits and other programs that helped the company remodel the building, which will house about 100 employees.
“This is a new industry of energy efficiency, and we're going to lead it in the world,” Inslee said.
Inslee, who announced his bid for governor on Monday, promised to stop large college tuition increases and the spiking costs of healthcare and to focus on creating jobs.
“If we are going to solve our economic challenges, we need a governor who has the vision to create jobs, the experience to create jobs and the determination to create jobs, and I will be that governor,” he said.
Attendees included Mayor Mary Verner, City Councilman Jon Snyder, Democratic state Rep. Timm Ormsby and Democratic state Rep. Andy Billig.
State Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown wasn't in the audience. She was holding a campaign reelection fundraiser at the Patsy Clark mansion around the same time.
CAPTION: U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee (right) talks to David Allen, executive vice president of McKinstry, on Tuesday, June 28, 2011, soon after Inslee made his first public appearance in Spokane as a Democratic candidate for governor.