Inslee to announce bid for third term as Washington governor: report

Inslee to announce bid for third term as Washington governor: report
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Washington Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert Inslee2020 Democrats defend climate priorities in MSNBC forum Overnight Energy: Trump officials formally revoke California emissions waiver | EPA's Wheeler dodges questions about targeting San Francisco over homelessness | 2020 Dems duke it out at second climate forum Yang floats nominating Inslee as 'climate czar' MORE (D) is set to announce his bid for a third term, two people close to him confirmed to The Associated Press Thursday.

The report comes a day after Inslee dropped out of the presidential race after lagging near the bottom of most state and national primary polls.

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Inslee’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

The Washington governor, who made climate change the cornerstone of his long-shot presidential bid, admitted Wednesday night that he did not have the support to win the Democratic nomination, though he expressed confidence that the ultimate nominee would take the mantle on the issue. 

“It’s become clear that I'm not going to be carrying the ball,” said Inslee. “I’m not going to be the president, so I'm withdrawing tonight from the race.” 

“I've been fighting climate change for 25 years, and I've never been so confident of the ability of America now to reach critical mass to move the ball,” he added. “I believe we are going to have a candidate to fight this battle.”

Inslee appears to have an open field to reclaim the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in the Evergreen State, as only three Democrats had previously said they would run for governor on the condition Inslee didn’t: Attorney General Bob Ferguson, Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz and King County Executive Dow Constantine.

Franz told the AP she’s not disappointed that she won’t be running for governor, as she has “a lot of work to do.”

Yet state Republican Party Chairman Caleb Heimlich said that he thinks Inslee could be vulnerable following his failed White House campaign. 

“Getting elected to a third term is a tough task,” he told the AP. “And doing so on the heels of a failed presidential campaign where you sent a message to voters that you want a different job, that doesn’t sit very well.” 

A handful of Republicans have already declared their own gubernatorial campaigns, though the GOP has not won the governor’s seat in over 30 years.

Washington’s governors are not subject to any term limits, though most only serve two terms, with the last three-term governor being Republican Gov. Dan Evans, who served from 1965 until 1977.