Washington Gov. Inslee ends presidential campaign, announces run for 3rd term

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has announced his bid for a third term as governor in an email to supporters, saying that while it was an honor to run for president, he wants to continue his work leading the state.

The 68-year-old Inslee sent the email detailing his plans Thursday, hours before he was to appear at a news conference at Planned Parenthood in Seattle regarding the Title X family planning program.

Inslee ended his 2020 presidential bid Wednesday night after nearly six months. He had made fighting climate change the central theme of his campaign, and said he was confident that Democrats would select a nominee who would champion climate change issues. Inslee said he was not endorsing anyone but would support whomever is the nominee.

While the filing deadline for the state’s 2020 elections isn’t until next May, three Democrats had already signaled they would run for governor, but only if Inslee didn’t – Attorney General Bob Ferguson, Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz and King County Executive Dow Constantine. A few Republicans have already announced plans to run for governor, including Phil Fortunato, a state senator, and Loren Culp, the police chief of Republic, in eastern Washington. A Republican has not occupied the governor’s office in more than three decades.

Governors in Washington state aren’t subject to term limits, though most haven’t served more than two terms. The last three-term governor in Washington was Republican Governor Dan Evans, who served from 1965 until 1977.   (AP)