Gov. Jay Inslee drops presidential bid and seeks a third term as governor

Gov. Jay Inslee.

Gov. Jay Inslee.

On MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show Wednesday night, Governor Jay Inslee announced he is dropping his bid for the presidency.

“I’m not going to be president, so I am withdrawing tonight from the race,” Inslee told Maddow.

Inslee focused his presidential campaign on climate change and succeeded in bringing the issue to the forefront of the democratic debates while outlining a four-part climate action plan, which is now open for the other Democratic candidates to use.

While Inslee had some standout moments on the debate stage in July, which resulted in a boost in contributions to his campaign, it was not enough to bolster his poll numbers to make it back to the stage in September.

Inslee was able to garner the necessary 130,000 individual donations but was still polling at less than one percent.

“I know you agree that our mission to defeat climate change must continue to be central to our national discussion and must be the top priority for our next president. But I have concluded that my role in that effort will not be as a candidate to be our next president,” Inslee said on Twitter.

One particular stand out moment for Inslee was his back and forth with a democratic front runner and former Vice President Joe Biden, calling his policies on climate change “too little, too late.”

Maddow asked Inslee about the plans the remaining democratic candidates have for climate change and if there are any candidates plans he supports over others.

Inslee touted his four-part plan and said it was open for the remaining candidates to take on. He also said he hopes to play an advisory role to the candidates on climate change to keep the conversation on the debate stage.

“I am going to help all the other candidates raise their level of ambition on this,” Inslee told Maddow.

Upon his exit from the race, the remaining democratic candidates thanked Inslee for his participation and for including climate change in the debate.

“Congratulations to Jay Inslee on his impactful campaign to bring the climate crisis to the forefront of the national conversation. There is no more important issue facing humanity,” Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders said.

Showing no hard feelings from the July debate, former Vice President Joe Biden also thanked Inslee.

“Jay Inslee brought an important voice to this race, arguing powerfully that climate change damages our health, national security, and economy. The people of Washington are fortunate to have a Governor who fights to make their lives better now and to protect our planet for the future,” Biden said.

On Thursday morning, Inslee announced that he will be seeking a third term as governor.

“I’m announcing today my intention to run for a third term as Washington’s governor. Our great success as a state over the last few years gives me confidence that we can continue to lead the nation in so many ways,” Inslee said.

Inslee will be the first Washington governor in over 50 years to seek a third term.

Washington State Attorney General, Bob Ferguson, who many believed would run for governor if Inslee did not seek another term also put out a statement of congratulations and support to Inslee.

“Governor Jay Inslee should be proud of his success promoting climate change as an urgent issue demanding immediate action. There would not be climate town halls if it were not for Jay Inslee’s calling for a real climate change conversation. I support Governor Inslee’s re-election and I will pursue another term as Attorney General,” Ferguson said.