Bryant Shines in Final Forum - Inslee Refuses to Participate

For Immediate Release
Contact: Jason Roe (202) 374-2424

Bryant Shines in Final Forum
Inslee Refuses to Participate 

(Seattle, Wash.) – What was originally scheduled to be a debate until Gov. Inslee refused, then was scheduled to be a forum, until Gov. Inslee refused, and then became individual one-on-one interviews, devolved into one of the more bizarre incidents of the 2016 gubernatorial campaign.

Arriving late to the event at Puget Sound University, Governor Inslee refused to take the stage as long as Republican candidate Bill Bryant was on it. The moderator announced Inslee’s refusal then said “the Governor, who is now here, doesn’t want to occupy the table with Bill. Bill got the table by himself, the Governor would like the table by himself. So, I propose we sit here until he figures out whether he wants to be part of the forum.”

The governor’s wife, Trudi, rose to announce a “misunderstanding.” Mrs. Inslee went backstage and moments later, the governor appeared. The event organizer then announced that the terms were negotiated in advance and agreed to, and that she expected the agreement to stand. Governor Inslee then took the stage and participated in an abbreviated session.

Bryant displayed a clear command of the important issues facing Washington and outlined his priorities: improving schools, addressing homelessness and mental health, reducing traffic, protecting our environment, and making government transparent and accountable to the public.

"Washington deserves a governor who will tackle the challenges facing our state and build on the opportunities we have,” said Bryant. “Jay Inslee’s petulant, childish behavior was unbecoming of a governor.”

With yesterday’s new allegations of abuse and mismanagement at Western State Hospital it is not surprising the governor was hesitant to join Bryant in a debate. Even after finally agreeing to participate, Inslee still refused to answer difficult questions and still refused to state he would veto any new income tax.

Bryant was asked during the event if he would veto an income tax and declared unequivocally that he would and then suggested that the moderator press Inslee on the topic, who will only say he doesn’t support an income tax.  As predicted, the governor once again flatly refused to say he would veto an income tax.

Governor Inslee has already come out in favor of a capital gains income tax and as a candidate in 2012, pledged to veto any tax increases but then supported more than $1 billion in new taxes once he was elected.


Matthew Donnellan