Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has spent more than half his days traveling out of state on the campaign trail in the five months since declaring his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination.
The Seattle Times and Northwest News Network report that between March 1 and the end of July, Inslee was on the road for all or parts of 90 days out of 153, or nearly 60 percent of the time.
Inslee — who has made climate policy the focus of his campaign — has been crisscrossing the county, touring flooded towns in Iowa and solar installations in California. He’s also been a regular guest in New York and Washington, D.C., cable news studios.
New figures released by the Washington State Patrol show that the governor’s security detail has cost taxpayers more than $580,000 between March and June in travel and overtime expenses.
Montana’s Gov. Steve Bullock, the only other current Democratic governor running for president, recently agreed to have his campaign pay for travel, lodging and meals of his state security detail when it accompanies him on out-of-state campaign trips, according to Montana Public Radio.
Inslee has declined calls to follow suit, pointing to a state law requiring the patrol to provide security to every governor. His campaign has reimbursed the state about $9,000 for costs of some security-related car rentals, as required by federal election rules.
Several U.S. senators are among the presidential hopefuls, and John Weingart, director of the Eagleton Center on the American Governor at Rutgers University, said politicians who run for president often face questions back home, but it’s “particularly true” for governors.
“It could be seen as flattering that your governor is being considered by at least some people as possible president, but it seems to be more often seen as a something negative,” he said.
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