Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley won't join 2020 presidential field

Sen. Jeff Merkley
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Sen. Jeff Merkley

U.S.Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon says he has decided against seeking the Democratic nomination for president and instead wants to focus on getting re-elected senator in 2020.

Merkley told The Associated Press that he wants to use his Senate seat and his re-election campaign to fight anti-democracy moves including voter suppression, gerrymandering and dark money. He also wants to focus on helping families with health care, education and living-wage jobs and on stemming climate change.

Merkley is set to formally announce on Tuesday that he won't seek his party's presidential nomination. He says the already crowded field of Democratic contenders was not a major factor in his decision.