New climate PAC will back Inslee for president

A new super PAC launching on Thursday will back Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s (D) potential run for president.

The group, Act Now On Climate, said it would back Inslee, who has made climate change a cornerstone of his two terms as governor.

“Climate change is the most pressing issue of our time and the most critical issue the next president will have to address,” said Corey Platt, a senior adviser to the new PAC. “It’s not simply an environmental issue, but also the nexus to jobs and national security.”

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Inslee has not formally said he will run for president, but he has said repeatedly that his platform would be based on combating climate change, casting it as an economic and job-creating engine for a new economy, if he launches a bid.

The governor has strongly hinted that he will announce his decision in a matter of weeks.

“We’ll make the decision at the right time. We are actively considering it, and that has been going well,” Inslee told The Hill in a December interview.

He formed a political action committee of his own, Vision PAC, to raise money to fund his travels around the country. The PAC has three longtime Inslee aides on staff, forming what could become the nucleus of a future campaign.

Inslee recently ended his run as chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, where Platt served as political director. The super PAC has also hired veteran Democratic strategist Christy Setzer, a former top communications aide to Al GoreAlbert (Al) Arnold GoreAnother VPOTUS tries for POTUS: What does history tell us? Several factors have hindered 'next up' presidential candidates in recent years Montana Gov. Bullock enters presidential race MORE, Howard Dean and several prominent unions.

“We’re hopeful that Gov. Inslee will continue his climate leadership with a bid for president — one that we would be proud to support,” Platt said in a statement announcing the super PAC, which filed papers with federal election officials on Thursday. “Gov. Inslee could capably carry the mantle for the millions of us who believe this has to be the number one priority of the next president.”

Inslee would begin any presidential campaign at a distinct disadvantage to front-runners such as Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Harris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign 2020 Dems put spotlight on disabilities issues MORE (D-Mass.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Harris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign 2020 Dems put spotlight on disabilities issues MORE (D-Calif.) and Bernie SandersBernie SandersHarris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign 2020 Dems put spotlight on disabilities issues Lee, Sanders introduce bill to tax Wall Street transactions MORE (I-Vt.). Every Democratic front-runner has adopted Inslee’s language on climate change, though none can say they have taken the same actions that Inslee has.

He would not be the first Democrat from Washington State to run for president — the late Sen. Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson ran in 1976. But no Democrat from a state west of South Dakota, Texas and Nebraska has ever won the party’s presidential nomination.