OLYMPIA, Wash. - President-elect Joe Biden is already moving forward with his transition into the White House by naming potential cabinet members. Several national news outlets are reporting Washington’s governor Jay Inslee is a contender for several cabinet positions.
Biden has stated in press conferences he's already working ahead for when he takes office in January.
As of Nov. 11, Biden has 290 electoral votes and President Donald Trump has 217 electoral votes.
Biden's transition team that's led by former Senator Ted Kaufman from Delaware has already been working on a list of candidates for Biden's presidential cabinet, the NYT reported.
Gov. Jay Inslee might end up in the cabinet, the NYT reported.
"Environmental activists are promoting his name, pointing to his plan to close U.S. coal plants by 2030 and reach net-zero emissions by 2045," the NYT reported.
According to several news outlets, Inslee is a rumored contender for three positions. The Times reports Inslee was “promoted” for the head of the Department of Energy or secretary of the interior. Also named was a seat Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator.
The EPA ensures clean air, land, and water by developing regulations, giving grants, and studying environmental issues. The Department of Energy is a full cabinet position overseeing the nation's nuclear weapons program, including the Hanford Site.
But the main question remains: What were to happen if Inslee takes a seat on the cabinet?
Taking a Biden cabinet seat would leave the Washington State Governor's seat open.
According to Washington state’s constitution, if a governor resigns the lieutenant governor would be the next in line.
Danny Heck who was recently elected to lieutenant governor and previously served in the U.S. House of Representatives for Washington state would become the next to take the governor’s seat.
Heck's step in as governor would be temporary, and Washingtonians would have to elect a new governor in the next general election in November of 2021, who would finish out Inslee’s term.
Dr. Pär Jason Engle, Dean for Organizational Learning at Columbia Basin College and an expert in American politics, says it is common for a president-elect to want to choose people already with a political standing and expertise in an area.
“Governors, representatives, and senators also have special areas of expertise that they usually come with. I know that Inslee usually touts his record on the environment and his knowledge of the environment,” Dr. Engle said.
Inslee’s 2020 presidential campaign platform focused on climate change.
In the past, Inslee has said he was not ‘interested in a cabinet seat’. But he has not denied any recent rumors.