Washington Gov. Jay Inslee ends presidential campaign

Inslee centered his campaign on combating climate change

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee ended his presidential campaign on Wednesday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee ended his presidential campaign on Wednesday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)
Posted August 21, 2019 at 10:00pm

Updated 1:53 p.m.| Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who staked his presidential campaign on combating climate change, announced Wednesday night that he is dropping out of the race for the White House after failing to qualify for the third round of Democratic primary debates.

Inslee announced on Thursday that he would be running for a third term as governor.

“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 wrote in an email to supporters.

Earlier this week, Inslee crossed one of the thresholds to qualify for the September debates when his campaign announced it had 130,000 individual donors. But Inslee said in an email to supporters on Wednesday that it was clear he would not reach the second threshold — set by the Democratic Party partly to winnow the crowded field of contenders — of 2 percent public support in at least four approved polls.

A compilation by Real Clear Politics had Inslee with a national polling average of 0.2 percent

“After more than two decades in this fight against climate change, today I am more hopeful than ever that we can achieve a critical mass to solve this crisis, because of the incredible grassroots movement we’re building together,” Inslee wrote in the Wednesday night email.

Inslee represented Washington in Congress from 1993-1995. After a failed gubernatorial run in 1996, he returned to Congress from 1999-2012, before again running for governor. 

Inslee is the second governor to drop out of the race, following the exit of former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper.