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Jay Inslee, Who Ran Campaign Focused on Climate Change, Drops Out of 2020 Presidential Race

Inslee Good Bye

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced he would no longer seek the Democratic presidential nomination and would instead run for a third term as governor.

“I’m not going to be the president, so I’m withdrawing tonight from the race,” Inslee told MSNBC Wednesday.

Inslee, who ran a single-issue campaign focused on combating climate change, said his campaign had “advanced the dialogue” on the issue. Though he said he would not endorse any candidate immediately, he would work to help “remove the climate denier from the White House.”

“I’m going to help all the other candidates raise their level of ambition on this,” Inslee said. “We need all of them to raise their game.”

Though he did not have enough polling to qualify for the September debate, Inslee did meet the donor threshold. Inslee raised his profile in the July debate in Detroit when he called out Joe Biden for what he called an inadequate proposal to combat climate change.

“Mr. Vice President, your argument is not with me, it’s with science,” Inslee said.

Inslee to run for third term:

Inslee plans to run for a third term as Washington’s governor, The Associated Press reported.

Washington has no term limits for governors, though few have ever served more than two terms. The last governor to serve three terms was Republican Dan Evans, whose final term ended in 1977.

Inslee’s withdrawal from the race came just days after former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper pulled out of the race.

Hickenlooper announced he would instead run for a Senate seat currently held by Republican Cory Gardner.

Fellow Dems praise Inslee’s climate focus:

“I don’t think we’d be having the kind of climate debate that we’re having if it weren’t for Jay Inslee,” Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren told reporters, according to The New York Times. “I really appreciate what he added to this campaign, and hope that he’s going to stay in the fight for what he believes in.”

“Few leaders have done more to shine a light on the climate crisis than @JayInslee,” Sen. Kamala Harris tweeted. “His voice will be missed in this primary but I know he will continue this fight.”