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

December 9, 2013 at 5:40 PM

Gov. Jay Inslee named finance chair for Democratic Governors Association

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee will raise campaign cash next year for Democratic gubernatorial candidates across the country as the new finance chair for the Democratic Governors Association.

Inslee was named to the leadership post Monday at a DGA meeting in Washington, D.C., according to his campaign’s political director, Tracy Newman.

The appointment puts Inslee in a position to repay his fellow Democrats for their aid in his election last year. The DGA poured nearly $5 million into negative TV ads against Inslee’s Republican rival, Rob McKenna, during Washington’s 2012 gubernatorial race.

The perch also should give Inslee deeper ties to national Democratic donors should he seek a second term in 2016. The group raised more than $50 million during the 2012 election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Inslee was one of three rookie governors named to leadership posts, according to POLITICO. Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin was re-elected to a second term as DGA chair.

“The governor is excited about this opportunity to help his colleagues across the country,” said Newman, who was with Inslee in D.C. on Monday. Inslee’s air fare and other expenses were being covered by the DGA or his campaign funds, not taxpayer dollars, she said.

Inslee’s predecessors, former Govs. Gary Locke and Chris Gregoire, each served as DGA chairs.

While in D.C. Inslee also is expected to attend the first White House meeting of a climate change task force of state and local leaders established last month by President Obama. He is expected to return to Washington state Tuesday.

Comments | More in 2014 elections, Governor, State government | Topics: democratic governors association, gov. jay inslee

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