Jay Inslee (born February 9, 1951) is an American politician, currently serving as U.S. Representative from Washington's First Congressional District (north of Seattle, including parts of King, Snohomish, and Kitsap counties). He is a Democrat.
Born in Seattle, Washington, he graduated from Seattle's Ingraham High School and the University of Washington (B.A., Economics) and Willamette University School of Law. After a decade working as an attorney in Selah, Washington, Inslee was elected to the Washington State House of Representatives in 1988, where he served until 1992, when he was elected to Congress representing Washington's Fourth Congressional District (central Washington). He lost his bid for re-election in the Republican Revolution of 1994 (to Doc Hastings), a defeat often attributed in large part to his vote in favor of a 1994 ban on semi-automatic firearms.
Inslee moved to western Washington and briefly resumed the practice of law before running for governor in 1996 and losing in the Democratic primary to Gary Locke. President Bill Clinton subsequently appointed him Regional Director for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a position he shortly left to again run for Congress in 1998, this time in the First Congressional District against two-term incumbent Rick White. His campaign attracted national attention when he became the first Democratic candidate to air television ads attacking his opponent, and the Republican congressional leadership, for the impeachment of President Clinton. He narrowly won, with 49.8
o White's 44.1└aided by the presence of a religious right third party candidate, Bruce Craswell (the husband of 1996 GOP gubernatorial nominee Ellen Craswell).
Though the First is historically a swing district (changing hands twice in the 1990s), Republicans have had a difficult time fielding a serious challenger to Inslee, who was re-elected in 2000 (54.6ť 2002 (55.6ť and 2004 (62.3× In July 2003, after then-Governor Gary Locke announced his retirement, Inslee briefly flirted with a gubernatorial bid before deciding to remain in Congress.
A member of the Clintonian New Democrat Coalition, Inslee has accumulated a progressive voting record, and has been an outspoken critic of the Bush administration's decision to invade Iraq. He sits on the Resources Committee and the Energy and Commerce Committee. He has been a supporter of the Apollo Alliance.