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Gov. Inslee: 'I Need to Go Back' to My Home State

The climate-science advocate drops out of the 2020 race
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 21, 2019 7:50 PM CDT
Democratic presidential candidate Washington Gov. Jay Inslee speaks at the Presidential Gun Sense Forum, Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019, in Des Moines, Iowa.   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
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(Newser) – Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who made fighting climate change the central theme of his presidential campaign, announced Wednesday night that he is ending his bid for the 2020 Democratic nomination, the AP reports. Inslee announced his decision on MSNBC, saying it's become clear that he won't win. He has kept the option of running for a third gubernatorial term open throughout his presidential campaign and said he would discuss his political plans Thursday. "I need to go back to the state of Washington and talk about what I'm going to do in my future political career," Inslee said on The Rachel Maddow Show. Inslee, 68, became the third Democrat to end his presidential bid after Rep. Eric Swalwell of California pulled out of the primary last month followed by former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper last week.

While Inslee had qualified for the first two presidential debates this summer, he struggled to gain traction in the crowded Democratic field and was falling short of the requirements needed to appear on two high-profile stages next month: the third DNC debate in Houston and a CNN town hall focused on climate change, Inslee's key issue. He had recently hit one of the markers—130,000 unique donors. But he had yet to reach 2% in any poll and would have needed to hit that level of support in four qualifying polls. Inslee is a former congressman and served as Democratic Governors Association chairman in 2018, when the party flipped seven Republican-held gubernatorial seats. He kicked off his campaign in March in Seattle, standing in front of a blue-and-green campaign logo with an arc of the Earth, declaring climate change the nation's most pressing issue.

(Read more Election 2020 stories.)

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