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Olympia Correspondent, Northwest News Network

Austin Jenkins

Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network.

Since 2004, Austin has covered Northwest politics and public policy as well as the Washington state Legislature. He also host of TVW's Emmy-nominated public affairs program, Inside Olympia. Prior to joining the Northwest News Network, Austin worked as a television reporter in Seattle, Portland and Boise.

Austin’s reporting has been recognized with awards from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated and the Society of Professional Journalists.


Austin is a graduate of Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut.

Contact Austin Jenkins

Recent Articles

Election | local | News | Politics | Election 2016

PAC Targets Washington Justice With Hard-Hitting Ad

Northwest News Network | Oct. 21, 2016 5:18 p.m.

A political action committee largely funded by three wealthy Washingtonians has unleashed a hard-hitting attack on a state Supreme Court justice up for re-election.

Election | local | News | Politics

Wealthy Washingtonians Dump $350K Into Effort To Defeat Supreme Court Justice

Northwest News Network | Oct. 20, 2016 4:18 p.m.

A trio of wealthy Washingtonians has just put $350,000 into an effort to defeat a sitting state Supreme Court justice. Their target is Charlie Wiggins who’s been on the court since 2011.

Election | local | News | Politics | Election 2016

Combative Campaigns, Competing Narratives Drive Lopsided Washington Governor's Race

Northwest News Network | Oct. 20, 2016 3:25 p.m.

Washington’s race for governor is a lopsided affair. Incumbent Democrat Jay Inslee has a three-to-one fundraising advantage over Republican challenger Bill Bryant.


Gun Rights, Gun Control Advocates React To Background Check Prosecution

Northwest News Network | Oct. 18, 2016 7:30 p.m.

Gun rights and gun control advocates are reacting to the first prosecution under Washington’s Initiative 594, the 2014 law that requires a background check for person-to-person gun sales.

local | News

Washington Murder Case Results In Gun Charge Under 2014 Background Check Law

Northwest News Network | Oct. 17, 2016 6 p.m.

In what’s believed to be the first prosecution under a 2014 voter-approved background check law, a former Oak Harbor, Washington, resident has been charged with illegally transferring a .22-caliber pistol that was later used in a homicide.

Nation | News | local | Politics | Election | NW Life | Election 2016

OPB Politics Now: Live Event Special Digs Into Oregon And Washington Races

OPB | Oct. 17, 2016 1 p.m.

In this special episode of "OPB Politics Now," we dig into presidential politics, new polling on Oregon races and some fascinating ballot measures in Washington.


Adult Trials, Long Sentences For Youth Get Scrutiny In Washington

Northwest News Network | Oct. 16, 2016 11:36 a.m.

The practice of automatically charging 16 and 17-year-olds as adults for serious crimes is coming under scrutiny.

local | Election 2016

Puget Sound Energy Trades In Gas, Electricity, Political Clout

Northwest News Network | Oct. 14, 2016 7 p.m.

If you live in western Washington, chances are you get your power or your natural gas or both from Puget Sound Energy. But it’s not just energy that PSE trades in.

local | News

Officer Bitten In Genitals By Police Dog Loses Bid For Damages

Northwest News Network | Oct. 13, 2016 7:15 p.m.

A police officer who was bitten in the genitals by a police dog in Washington state is not entitled to sue for damages without first proving negligence, ruled a narrowly divided Washington Supreme Court.

local | Politics | Election 2016

Negative Ad Spending Unleashed In Washington As Election Nears

Northwest News Network | Oct. 12, 2016 5:45 p.m.

The floodgates have opened on negative campaign spending in Washington state. Just since October 1, more than $800,000 has been spent — mostly to defeat candidates for the state legislature.

local | Election 2016

Political Tornado Swirls In District That Could Determine Control Of Washington House

Northwest News Network | Oct. 10, 2016 7 p.m.

A political tornado is swirling toward western Washington's 30th Legislative District. It’s swallowing up money from political action committees and pummeling voters and the candidates with attack ads.

local | Election 2016

Wealthy Southwest Washington Businessmen Top Donors In Republican Quest For House

Northwest News Network | Oct. 10, 2016 5:30 p.m.

This year, a pair of wealthy southwest Washington businessmen have emerged as major donors to state Republicans.

Election | local | Nation | News | Politics | Election 2016

Northwest Republicans React To Trump's Comments About Women

Northwest News Network | Oct. 10, 2016 9:45 a.m.

Some Northwest Republicans are denouncing and in some cases distancing themselves from Donald Trump because of his lewd comments about women. But not all.

Election | local | News | Politics | Election 2016

SEIU Looms Large In Fight For Control Of Washington Legislature

Northwest News Network | Oct. 8, 2016 4:30 p.m.

SEIU has invested more than $1 million in trying to help Democrats win control of the Washington legislature this year. So what does the union want in return for its investment?

Election | local | Politics | Election 2016

In First TV Ad, Candidate For Washington Governor Focuses On Traffic

Northwest News Network | Oct. 6, 2016 7 p.m.

Washington’s Republican candidate for governor Bill Bryant has unveiled his first TV ad of the general election. It comes the same week Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee hit the airwaves with his first ad.

local | Election 2016

Lands Commissioner Race Pits Environmental Lawyer, Supporter Of Imprisoned Ranchers

Northwest News Network | Oct. 6, 2016 5:19 p.m.

The race for Washington lands commissioner pits an environmental lawyer against a supporter of two imprisoned Oregon ranchers. Both candidates are relatively unknown to voters.

local | News

Washington AG Takes Responsibility For Deleted Oso Emails

Northwest News Network | Oct. 5, 2016 4 p.m.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said he takes responsibility for his office's failure to preserve emails related to the deadly 2014 Oso...

Election | local | News | Politics | Election 2016

Inslee Launches 1st TV Ad; Bryant Raising Money To Hit The Air

Northwest News Network | Oct. 4, 2016 11:45 a.m.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is on the air with his first TV ad of the general election. His Republican challenger Bill Bryant hopes to hit the airwaves soon — but money is an issue.

Election | local | News | Politics | Election 2016

Washington Lt. Gov. Candidate Calls Citizenship Questions About Opponent 'Silly Stuff'

Northwest News Network | Sept. 30, 2016 2:42 p.m.

It's not just President Obama who's had his citizenship questioned. So has Washington's Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, Cyrus Habib.

Health | News | local

Staffing, Management Issues Plagued Western State Hospital Says Report

Northwest News Network | Sept. 29, 2016 7 p.m.

Washington's troubled Western State Hospital has been plagued by ineffective management, staff reductions and turnover. That's according to a "root...