Sen. Jeff Merkley announced Tuesday that he won’t run for president and will make a bigger difference by running for reelection in the Senate.
The Oregon Democrat has been publicly contemplating a presidential bid for almost a year.
“My best contribution is to run for re-election and do all I can to help the Senate be a full partner in addressing the challenges before us,” Merkley said in his announcement video.
The video was stylized like a traditional presidential announcement, featuring Merkley outlining his family history and expressing his concerns with the state of the country, declaring that it is “way off track.”
He told the New York Times in June that he wouldn’t “necessarily” stay out of the race if Sanders and Warren were to enter. Both Warren and Sanders officially joined the Democratic presidential primary in February.
“I believe that there are Democrats now in the presidential race who are speaking to the importance of tackling the big challenges we face,” he said.
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Merkley affirmed in his announcement video that he is going to “help elect a president,” but didn’t specify who he would support. He was the only senator to endorse Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primary over Hillary Clinton, The Washington Post reported.