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Inslee Announces Run For Governor Former Congressman Seeks Democratic Nomination

Attorney Jay Inslee made the switch from legislator to congressman with the help of the voters in 1992.

He made the switch from congressman to private citizen - reluctantly, but again thanks to the voters - in 1994.

He’d like to switch again, to the governor’s mansion, in 1996.

The 44-year-old lawyer in a Puget Sound firm jetted around the state Wednesday to announce his candidacy for the Democratic nomination in Seattle, Yakima and Spokane.

“I want to give voters a choice, to have a governor who will fight for the mainstream, not the ex-treme,” he said at the Ridpath Hotel.

He said he would oppose measures to turn back environmental regulations such as the Referendum 48 property rights proposal, which voters recently rejected. But he’d work to address some of the concerns property owners have, by giving them consistent regulations, better appeal rights and simpler processes.

Inslee also will push campaign finance reforms that limit the amount a candidate can spend on a race. If he can’t get his opponents - currently two other Democrats and at least five Republicans - to agree to a limit, he’ll set one for himself.

He won’t say how much, yet, but plans to base it on an average of the amount spent on recent gubernatorial campaigns.

As governor, Inslee would set up a special fund to help protect seniors and children who could be affected if the federal government reduces Medicaid funding for the state.

He’d look for efficiencies in state government to come up with money for the fund, he said.

Inslee lost his re-election bid for central Washington’s congressional seat to Richard Doc Hastings in last year’s Republican landslide. The changes being pushed by that new Republican Congress mean many of the issues he cares about will soon be controlled by the state, Inslee said.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo

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