Jay Inslee is a fifth-generation Washingtonian who has lived and worked in urban and rural communities on both sides of the state. Inslee first became involved in public service in 1985 when he and his wife helped lead the effort to build a new public high school in Selah. Motivated to fight against proposed funding cuts for rural schools, Inslee went on to represent the 14th Legislative District in the state House of Representatives. He continued serving communities in the Yakima Valley when he was elected to Congress in 1992. He later moved back to the Puget Sound area where he was elected to Congress in 1998, serving until 2012 when he was elected governor. He was re-elected in 2016, and for a historic third term in 2020.
During his time in Congress, Inslee became known as a forward-thinking leader, especially on issues of clean energy and the environment. He co-wrote a book, "Apollo's Fire: Igniting America's Clean-Energy Economy," about a national program to fight climate change through clean energy innovation and job-creation.