Jay Inslee Seeks Third Term as Washington Governor After Ending Presidential Run

Photo Credit: Charlie Neibergall/AP/Shutterstock
August 22, 2019

Washington state Governor Jay Inslee announced Thursday that he will seek a third term on the day after he officially ended his presidential campaign.

'I’m not going to be the president,' Governor Inslee conceded on MSNBC Wednesday night. He did not endorse a specific candidate out of the remaining 22-person field, but added he would endorse whichever Democrat gets the ticket to take on President Trump.

His presidential run came to an end just a week after he passed the 130,000 unique donor threshold, one of the two criteria he needed to meet in order to qualify for the third Democratic debate in Houston.

In an email to supporters sent Thursday, Inslee wrote: 'I want to continue to stand with you in opposing Donald Trump and rejecting his hurtful and divisive agenda, while strengthening and enhancing Washington state's role as a progressive beacon for the nation.'

Inslee championed combating climate change as his primary focus on the campaign trail. In an interview with Cheddar on Earth Day, Inslee said, 'Donald Trump is the biggest climate threat.'

'The rest of the world has continued to fight climate change, while Trump has gone backwards,' he said.

In his closing statement at the Miami debates, Inslee remarked, 'Under Donald Trump we face a looming catastrophe, but it is not too late. We have one last chance.' He added: 'The survival of humanity on this planet, and civilization as we know it, is in the hands of the next president.'

Inslee was also the first Democratic presidential candidate to call Donald Trump a 'white nationalist' after a series of tweets the president fired off, telling four freshman Congresswomen of color to 'go back' to where they are from (three of the representatives are native-born).

Though all of the top candidates applauded Inslee and his campaign for bringing climate change to national attention on the debate stage — and beyond — he struggled to make his point land with organizers.

Since announcing a run for the White House on March 1, Inslee has advocated for a climate-focused debate. Nevertheless, in early June, the DNC rejected his call.

Inslee joins former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and California Congressman Eric Swalwell in the presidential drop-out list after struggling to pass just 1 percent in any qualifying national poll.

On Wednesday, hours before dropping out of the race, the Inslee campaign rolled out its sixth and final installment of a plan to fight climate change. His plan has been endorsed by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who said it's the 'most serious + comprehensive one to address our crisis in the 2020 field.'

After Inslee’s departure, Sen. Bernie Sanders rolled out his own Green New Deal proposal on Thursday, bringing added attention to climate in the 2020 race.