Austin Jenkins

Olympia Correspondent

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia–based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy as well as the Washington State legislature. He regularly files stories for NPR News. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Prior to joining the Northwest News Network, Austin was a freelance general assignment reporter at KING–TV, the NBC affiliate in Seattle. He also worked as a freelance education reporter for KPLU–FM, the Tacoma–based NPR station. Austin spent 2001 in Washington, D.C. as a Knight Foundation/American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow. Austin has also worked as a television reporter in Portland, Oregon; Boise, Idaho; Casper, Wyoming; and Bozeman, Montana. Austin is a graduate of Garfield High School in Seattle and has a B.A. in Government from Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut. Over the years Austin has won numerous professional awards for his reporting. He lives in Olympia with his wife Jennifer Huntley and their two children.

Read Austin's blog, "The Washington Ledge: Dispatches From Olympia."

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Inslee Backing Marjiuana Law
4:05 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

Inslee To Back Will Of Voters On Marijuana Legalization

Governor-elect Jay Inslee at a news conference in Seattle to announce his transition co-chairs.
Credit Austin Jenkins

Washington Governor-elect Jay Inslee says states are the incubators of new ideas – and that should extend to marijuana legalization. Inslee Wednesday said he’s hopeful Washington’s new recreational pot law can take effect without federal interference.

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Robert Bales Pretrial Hearing
4:37 pm
Tue November 13, 2012

Pretrial Hearing For Staff Sgt. Bales Concludes

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales' wife Karilyn, middle, listens as her sister reads a family statement to reporters at the conclusion of the pretrial hearing.
Credit Austin Jenkins

A pretrial hearing for Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales has concluded at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Bales is the soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians earlier this year – most of them young children. The defense is focused on Bales’ state of mind.

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Wash. Ballot Counting
3:58 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Vote Counting Slows As Wash. Counties Deal With Problem Ballots

Thurston County Election Manager Steve Homan monitors the ballot sorting machine.
Credit Austin Jenkins

Democrat Jay Inslee says he has a 95 percent chance of ultimately winning Washington’s race for governor. That’s based on an internal statistical analysis his campaign released Friday. But with hundreds of thousands of ballots still uncounted, Republican Rob McKenna is digging in for the long haul. Meanwhile, at county election offices the ballot counting is getting slower, not faster.

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Wash. Governor's Race
5:08 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

Ballot Counting Continues As Wash. Governor’s Race Remains Undecided

Democrat Jay Inslee retains a narrow lead over Republican Rob McKenna in the Washington governor's race.
Credit Deborah Wang

Washington’s race for governor still hasn’t been called. Hundreds of thousands of ballots remain uncounted. A disproportionate number of those votes are in heavily Democratic King County, with nearly a third of the state’s electorate.

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McKenna Not Conceding Yet
4:38 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

McKenna Has Time, But Not Statistics On His Side In Wash. Governor’s Race

Republican Rob McKenna needs to gain a significant advantage among voters who waited to cast their ballots.
Credit Austin Jenkins

There are still three-quarters of a million ballots to be counted in Washington’s too-close-to-call governor’s race. Democrat Jay Inslee holds a narrow lead over Republican Rob McKenna.

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Wash. Governor Race
6:35 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

Candidates For Wash. Governor Await More Vote Tallies

Republican Rob McKenna
Credit Austin Jenkins

The two candidates for Washington governor are still awaiting more voting tallies in an election contest that remains to close to call. At this hour, with votes still being counted, Democrat Jay Inslee leads Republcan Rob McKenna 51.1 percent to 48.9 percent. The McKenna campaign is hoping for a turn-around in the numbers.

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Northwest News
9:29 am
Wed November 7, 2012

Washington Race for Governor Too Close to Call

It’s déjà vu. Once again, Washington’s race for governor is too close to call. Democrat Jay Inslee leads Republican Rob McKenna by nearly three percentage points with just over half the expected ballots counted.

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Pretrial Hearing For Robert Bales
5:50 pm
Mon November 5, 2012

Bales Hearing Underway

Prosecutors have made opening arguments in a hearing for the Washington soldier accused of massacring 16 Afghan villagers earlier this year. The pretrial hearing for Staff Sgt. Robert Bales is expected to last several days.

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Pretrial Hearing For Robert Bales
5:02 pm
Mon November 5, 2012

Prosecutors: Video Shows Caped Sgt. Bales Returning From Murders

Army prosecutors have outlined their case against Staff Sgt. Robert Bales. He’s the Washington soldier accused of murdering 16 Afghan civilians in two villages. At a pretrial hearing Monday the prosecution played nighttime surveillance video.

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Pretrial Hearing For Robert Bales
4:26 pm
Mon November 5, 2012

Army Prosecutors: Sgt. Bales Exhibited 'Sheer Brutality'

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales.
Credit Maj. Brent Clemmer

Army prosecutors say Staff Sgt. Robert Bales murdered 16 Afghan civilians in two villages this past March in an act of “sheer brutality.” That was the opening argument at a pretrial hearing Monday to determine if Bales will face a full court martial and possibly the death penalty.

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