All around the country this election season, we’ve got Democrats who don’t want to talk about climate change and Republicans who don’t even acknowledge that climate change is real.

But in the Washington state governor’s race, it’s a whole different ballgame. The Democrat, Jay Inslee, is a longtime, outspoken crusader for climate action and clean energy. The Republican, Rob McKenna, is one of a vanishing breed of Republicans who not only acknowledge that climate change is happening but support government action to fight it.

And they’re locked in one of the most competitive gubernatorial races of the year, vying to replace retiring Democrat Chris Gregoire.

Jay Inslee
Jay Inslee

Jay Inslee

Greens are positively swooning for Inslee. During more than a decade in the U.S. House representing areas north and west of Seattle, he pushed aggressively for climate legislation, environmental protections, federal support for cleantech, and a wholesale shift to a green economy. For Inslee, clean energy is not just another issue; it’s his motivating passion. He coauthored a book on the subject in 2007: Apollo’s Fire: Igniting America’s Clean Energy Economy. He cofounded the House Sustainable Energy Caucus. He’s written posts here at Grist calling for clean air, international climate action, and passage of his New Apollo Energy Act.