March 1 (UPI) -- Washington Gov. Jay Inslee launched a presidential campaign Friday, saying in a video announcement that he will make addressing climate change the country's No. 1 priority.
"We're the first generation to feel the sting of climate change, and we're the last that can do something about it," Inslee said in the video.
"We have an opportunity to transform our economy, run on 100 percent clean energy, that will bring millions of good-paying jobs to every community across America, and create a more just future for everyone," he continued.
Inslee, who has won two terms, is the first governor to enter the Democratic primary field for 2020 that includes several U.S. senators -- Cory Booker, of New Jersey; Kirsten Gillibrand of New York; Kamala Harris of California; Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota; Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, and independent Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro have also announced. Former Vice President Joe Biden, former U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, and Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio are all considering entering the Democratic primary.
Inslee, a native of Washington, served in the U.S. House before becoming governor in 2012. He was a Washington state legislator before he was elected to Congress in 1992.
In 2007, he co-authored a book calling for the United States to move away from the use of fossil fuels. He has spoken out more on national issues of late, challenging Republican President Donald Trump on environmental regulation rollbacks and the move to ban refugees from mostly Muslim nations.
He has supported minimum-wage increases, higher taxes on the wealthy and businesses, raises for teachers and state government employees and has called for an end to the death penalty.