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Jay Inslee drops out of the 2020 presidential race

Key Points
  • Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is dropping out of the 2020 presidential race, he announced Wednesday night on MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show."
  • Inslee had centered his campaign around climate change, calling it "the most urgent challenge of our time."
  • "This is our moment to put the greatest threat to our existence, to our economy, to our health, at the very top of the nation's agenda," Inslee said in March at his campaign's kickoff event in Seattle.
2020 Democratic U.S. presidential candidate and Washington Governor Jay Inslee speaks during the Presidential Gun Sense Forum in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., August 10, 2019.
Scott Morgan | Reuters

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is dropping out of the 2020 presidential race, he announced Wednesday night on MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show."

Inslee had centered his campaign around climate change, calling it "the most urgent challenge of our time.

"This is our moment to put the greatest threat to our existence, to our economy, to our health, at the very top of the nation's agenda," Inslee said in March at his campaign's kickoff event in Seattle.

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He put out a detailed 10-year plan on how he'd move the country to clean energy, spurring other candidates to put out their own plans. Butting heads with the Democratic National Committee, he demanded that the organization hold a debate focused on climate change.

The DNC rebuffed his pleas in June, but CNN announced soon afterthat it would hold a town hall on the issue with the 2020 candidates in September. Inslee, however, did not meet the polling criteria the network used for the event — a minimum of 2 percent in four DNC-recognized polls — and was not on the list of attendees the network announced on Tuesday.

While Inslee said Monday that he had reached the 130,000 donation threshold for the next Democratic debate in September, his lack of qualifying polls would likely have kept him from the debate stage as well.

Inslee is the third major candidate in the sprawling field to exit the race after Rep. Eric Swalwell of California and former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper.