Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has added a round of experienced Democratic operatives to his political team as he closes in on an announcement of his 2020 plans.
Inslee, who is considering running for president, has hired multiple advisers who worked for Democratic billionaire Tom Steyer, as well as other veterans of statewide Democratic political campaigns. Inslee and Steyer share a longtime focus on climate change, though Steyer has previously announced that he would not run for president in 2020.
Among Inslee’s new hires is Sky Gallegos, who had senior roles on Bill Clinton’s reelection campaign in 1996 and also worked for Al Gore, former Sen. John Edwards and former Senator and Secretary of State John Kerry. More recently, she served as a political adviser for Steyer’s NextGen America group for the past five years.
Ben Unger, a former state legislator in Oregon, has also joined Inslee’s operation as a political adviser. Unger served as executive director of Our Oregon and was also a consultant for NextGen America.
John Brougher, a veteran Democratic operative who specializes in digital politics, is joining the team as well. Brougher was most recently deputy campaign manager for the 2018 reelection campaign of Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.). Before that, he was chief technology officer for NARAL Pro-Choice America. He held the same role for Democrat Wendy Davis’ 2014 gubernatorial campaign in Texas.COUNTDOWN TO 2020
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On communications, Jared Leopold, the longtime communications director for the Democratic Governors Association who previously worked for Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), is joining Inslee as an adviser focused on communications. Inslee chaired the DGA in 2018.
The four hires bolster the team Inslee has kept close as he’s mulled running for president. Aisling Kerins, who was Inslee’s campaign manager in 2015-16, has stayed in the governor’s orbit, as have finance consultant Tracy Newman and veteran Democratic press consultant Jamal Raad.
In addition, former DGA political director Corey Platt launched a climate-focused super PAC to back Inslee for president.