As he approaches announcing his 2020 plans, Washington Governor Jay Inslee has expanded his campaign staff with a group of seasoned Democratic operators.
Inslee has engaged several advisers who formerly worked for Democratic billionaire Tom Steyer as well as other veterans of statewide Democratic political campaigns. Inslee is thinking about running for president. Although Steyer has already declared that he will not run for president in 2020, Inslee and Steyer have long been concerned about climate change.
Sky Gallegos, who served in senior capacities on Bill Clinton’s 1996 reelection campaign and has also worked for Al Gore, former Sen. John Edwards, and former Sen. and Secretary of State John Kerry, is one of Inslee’s recruits. She most recently worked for Steyer’s NextGen America organization for the previous five years as a political advisor.
Former Oregon state lawmaker Ben Unger has also joined Inslee’s team as a political advisor. Unger worked with NextGen America as a consultant in addition to serving as executive director of Our Oregon.
A seasoned Democratic operator with expertise in digital politics, John Brougher, is also joining the group. Brougher most recently served as Sen. Martin Heinrich’s 2018 reelection campaign’s deputy campaign manager (D-N.M.). Before that, he served as NARAL Pro-Choice America’s chief technology officer. He served in the same capacity for the Democratic Wendy Davis campaign for governor of Texas in 2014.
Jared Leopold, the former communications director for Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and a veteran member of the Democratic Governors Association, is joining Inslee as a communications adviser. In 2018 Inslee presided over the DGA.
The four additions strengthen the group Inslee has kept close while he considered a presidential candidacy. Inslee’s former campaign manager from 2015 to 2016 Aisling Kerins, as well as financial advisor Tracy Newman and seasoned Democratic press adviser Jamal Raad, have remained in the governor’s inner circle.
A climate-focused super PAC was also started by former DGA political director Corey Platt to support Inslee for president.
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