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Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

September 6, 2012 at 4:01 PM

Inslee-Clinton fundraiser almost sold out, boasts excited campaign

Jay Inslee speaks to supporters at a campaign event with biotechnology business leaders Thursday on the campus of the University of Washington (Brian M. Rosenthal / The Seattle Times)

On the day after Bill Clinton delivered a fiery speech at the Democratic National Convention, the Jay Inslee campaign announced that the mid-September  fundraiser with the former president has nearly sold out its 2,000 tickets.

Inslee, a former Democratic congressman running for governor, said he didn’t watch Clinton’s speech in real time but he “saw some highlights” afterwards.

“I thought it was remarkable,” Inslee said, after a Thursday morning campaign event with biotechnology leaders. “He’s seen the full ebb and flow of economic history … (and) he described the fundamental approach that he believes we need to take.”

Inslee served briefly for Clinton as the regional director for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the former president wrote the forward for Inslee’s book, “Apollo’s Fire: Igniting America’s Clean Energy Economy.”

The luncheon fundraiser is scheduled for Sat., Sept. 15. Tickets range from $150 to $5,000.

“It’s very, very exciting,” said campaign spokeswoman Jaime Smith, although she declined to predict how much the event will raise.

Inslee is locked in a tight race with Republican Rob McKenna, the state attorney general.

Inslee’s Thursday event at the University of Washington marked the second day in a row that he has appeared with leaders of industries that he feels will be the backbone of the state’s future.

He was introduced by Clay Siegall, the CEO of Seattle Genetics, which works on new drugs for cancer patients.

“He understands biotech,” Siegall said. “He understands the issues facing biotech.”

In a short speech, Inslee pledged to encourage investment in biotech by proposing tax breaks to start-up businesses in the field. He also wants school to focus on the industry, among other technology and clean energy areas.

On Wednesday, Inslee appeared with business leaders in the clean technology field.

Comments | More in Governor, homepage | Topics: Bill Clinton, biotechnology, Clay Siegall

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