US & Canada

Democratic Governor Jay Inslee drops out of 2020 presidential race

Jay Inslee speaks at the Iowa state fair Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Jay Inslee speaks at the Iowa state fair

Washington state Governor Jay Inslee has dropped out of the crowded Democratic race for the White House.

Mr Inslee made combating climate change his number one priority, but failed to attract national support.

He announced he would instead seek a third term as governor of the north-western US state.

He is the latest candidate to drop out of the primary race after ex-Colorado governor John Hickenlooper and California congressman Eric Swalwell.

Mr Inslee announced his decision on MSNBC on Wednesday night, telling presenter Rachael Maddow that "it's become clear" that he would not become president.

"I'm not going to be the president, so I'm withdrawing tonight from the race," he said.

Mr Inslee said he would not endorse another candidate yet, but vowed to help any Democratic contender "remove the climate denier [Donald Trump] from the White House".

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Media captionHow to pitch yourself to Iowa voters in five minutes

Mr Inslee had recently secured the 130,000 donors needed to participate in next month's debate, but had not cleared the 2% polling threshold among voters required for a debate invitation.

His polling struggles also prevented him from participating in a CNN town hall-style event on climate change, his signature issue.

Mr Inslee was an accomplished congressman and has been a popular governor. It looks like Washington will get to keep him as he runs for another term as governor.

Despite reaching the needed donors to participate in the next debate, he failed to poll over 1%, and therefore won't get another chance on the debate stage.

He has the kind of resume that once upon a time might have made him a top-tier candidate - as governors love to show off their executive level chops - but the times have changed.

On Thursday, former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper announced he was launching a bid for the US Senate.

Mr Hickenlooper dropped out last week.

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