Inslee seeking third term as governor after ending presidential bid

Washington Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeInslee calls on Trump to ‘stay out of Washington state’s business’ Seattle mayor responds to Trump: ‘Go back to your bunker’ Trump warns he will take back Seattle from ‘ugly Anarchists’ if local leaders don’t act MORE (D) announced Thursday he will seek a third term as governor following his decision to end his 2020 presidential bid.

“I want to continue to stand with you in opposing Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE and rejecting his hurtful and divisive agenda, while strengthening and enhancing Washington state’s role as a progressive beacon for the nation,” Inslee said in a statement.

“Which is why I’m announcing today my intention to run for a third term as Washington’s governor,” he continued. “I’m excited to do so — because our great success as a state these last few years gives me confidence that we can continue to lead the nation in so many ways.”

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Inslee, who launched his long-shot presidential campaign in March, focused his White House bid on the issue of combating climate change. But he struggled to garner support in the crowded field of candidates and dropped out before the next round of debates in September.

The Washington governor announced late Wednesday that he would be ending his White House bid, telling MSNBC’s Rachel MaddowRachel Anne MaddowWebb: The modern age of dissent versus riot Cable news audience numbers jump amid coronavirus, protests Demings: ‘America is on fire’ and Trump ‘is walking around with gasoline’ MORE that it had “become clear” that he did not have a path to the nomination.

Inslee is the third Democratic presidential primary candidate to drop out of the race, following Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellNASCAR bans display of Confederate flag from events and properties Gloves come off as Democrats fight for House seat in California Grenell says intelligence community working to declassify Flynn-Kislyak transcripts MORE (D-Calif.) and former Colorado Gov. John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperGun control group rolls out first round of Senate endorsements The Hill’s Campaign Report: Republicans go on attack over calls to ‘defund the police’ Hickenlooper ethics questions open him up to attack MORE.

Hickenlooper announced on Thursday that he would run for Colorado’s Senate seat, challenging Sen. Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Interior faces legal scrutiny for keeping controversial acting leaders in office | White House faces suit on order lifting endangered species protections | Lawmakers seek investigation of Park Police after clearing of protesters The Hill’s Campaign Report: Republicans go on attack over calls to ‘defund the police’ MORE (R-Colo.), while Swalwell will also run for reelection for his House seat.

Three Washington State Democrats – Attorney General Bob Ferguson, Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz and King County Executive Dow Constantine – previously said they would be interested in running for governor if Inslee did not seek reelection.

Meanwhile, three Republicans have entered the state’s GOP primary, including state Sen. Phil Fortunato (R), law enforcement officer Loren Culp and Anton Sakharov. 

A Republican has not won a gubernatorial race in Washington in over 30 years. 

Governors in Washington are not subject to term limits, but most have usually served no more than two terms with the exception of Republican Gov. Dan Evans, who served three terms ending in 1977.

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