Washington Gov. Jay Inslee To Run For 3rd Term

August 22, 2019 by Dan McCue
Washington Governor Jay Inslee appears on a panel at the Center for American Progress 2018 Ideas Conference on May 15, 2018 in Washington, D.C. (Ron Sachs/CNP/Zuma Press/TNS)

WASHINGTON — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee ended his climate change-focused 2020 presidential bid Wednesday night, announcing Thursday that he’ll seek a third term as governor instead.

Inslee revealed he was ending his run for the White House on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show.”

“It’s become clear that I’m not going to be carrying the ball. I’m not going to be the president, so I’m withdrawing tonight from the race,” he told Maddow.

Inslee sent an email to supporters on Thursday morning announcing his run for governor.

He is the third Democrat to end his presidential bid after U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell of California pulled out of the primary last month, followed by former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper last week.

In leaving the presidential race, Inslee said he was confident Democrats would select a nominee who would champion climate change.

“I’ve been fighting climate change for 25 years, and I’ve never been so confident of the ability of America now to reach critical mass to move the ball,” he said.

Inslee cancelled scheduled events in New Hampshire on Thursday and headed back to Washington state, where his decision to run reshaped the political landscape.

Three Democrats — Attorney General Bob Ferguson, Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz and King County Executive Dow Constantine — had all signaled their intention to run if Inslee didn’t run for re-election.

Now that he’s in the race, they’ll now have to decide whether to run or to keep their current jobs.

Governors in Washington state aren’t subject to term limits, but most haven’t served more than two terms. The last three-term governor in Washington was Republican Gov. Dan Evans, who served from 1965 until 1977.

In a statement, Noam Lee, executive director of the Democratic Governors Association, said “Gov. Jay Inslee is a tremendous leader and his decision to run for re-election is good news for Washington’s families.”

“He is a national leader on tackling climate change, building a clean energy economy, and crafting bold proposals to protect the health of both the environment and the people he represents,” Lee said. “As governor, he invested billions into schools, expanded early childhood education and gave educators long-needed raises. He expanded voting rights to ensure every Washingtonian has access to the ballot. When the NRA attempted to block new gun violence prevention, he took them on and won, passing expanded background checks and banning bump stocks.  … His ‘get it done’ style of governance is the antidote to what we see coming out of D.C., and Washington will be well served by his leadership for another four years.”

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