Photo of Jay Inslee

Statement by Jay Inslee Following the End of Presidential Campaign Activities

August 21, 2019


As a close ally in a noble cause, I want to share a tough decision with you:

I know you agree that our mission to defeat climate change must continue to be central to our national discussion -- and must be the top priority for our next president. But I've concluded that my role in that effort will not be as a candidate to be the next president of the United States.

On Monday, our campaign hit one of two critical DNC thresholds to qualify for the next debate -- 130,000 grassroots donors. Reaching that challenging milestone proves the strong support that defeating climate change has amongst the grassroots of our party. However, at the same time we reached this threshold, it became clear that we would not meet the DNC's polling threshold, thus we would not have been invited to the fall debates. As a result, I don't believe we can compete for the attention and exposure needed to have a reasonable shot at the nomination.

As disappointing as this is, it is only right to recognize what we have accomplished and how far we have come together. As a governor, I came into this race with zero federal dollars, a small state-based email list, and limited name recognition, yet together we hit a target that half of the field has not hit -- the DNC's grassroots supporter metric.

The tremendous grassroots outpouring of 130,000 individual donors, from every state in the nation, is a testament to the movement that we've built together. Not only did we hit this high bar set by the DNC, but more importantly, together, we changed and shaped the entire national dialogue around climate change.

In recent presidential cycles, climate change got little attention from the candidates, the DNC, or the media. We vowed to change that in a big way and succeeded. Many of the campaigns started with little attention to climate, but since our campaign began, we've seen almost every serious candidate put out a climate plan; we've seen climate come up in both debates; and we now have two networks hosting nationally-televised climate forums in September. Most importantly, we have introduced a detailed and comprehensive policy blueprint for bold climate action and transformation to a clean energy economy. We will fight to ensure this gold standard of climate action is adopted and executed by our party and our next president.

What we accomplished together is a testament to the power of a small group of people of strong conviction committed to making a big difference. I am confident our work will resonate throughout the remaining months of the campaign.

Before I decided to run, Trudi and I -- my wife of nearly 47 years -- decided in our final days we wanted to be able to tell our three grandchildren, Brody, Zoe, and Chase, that we had done everything in our power to defeat this crisis.

It is because of you and hundreds of thousands of others in this movement that we can now say that we have enjoyed one of life's greatest gifts -- to make a difference on a big issue. After more than two decades in this fight against climate change, today I am more hopeful than ever that we can achieve a critical mass to solve this crisis, because of the incredible grassroots movement we're building together.

As we turn to the future, I will have more to say about what comes next for me in the days ahead. I can assure you that I will continue to lead, to demand bold action, and to do everything in my power to ensure the fight to defeat climate change stays at the top of the national agenda.

But for now, I want to once again thank everyone who helped in this effort. We have so much to be proud of. Make no mistake, we also have a lot more work to do.

So early to bed, early to rise, work like hell, and organize. Together we will continue the fight to defeat the climate crisis.

Very truly yours,

P.S. Trudi and I love you.

Jay Inslee, Statement by Jay Inslee Following the End of Presidential Campaign Activities Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project