Jeff Merkley ends flirtation with presidential run

March 5, 2019 GMT

Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon is passing on the chance to run for president in 2020, saying he is better off running for re-election to the Senate and fighting for “bold” solutions to the nation’s problems.

“I believe that there are Democrats now in the presidential race who are speaking to the importance of tackling the big challenges we face, but what I am also sure of is the Senate is not prepared to be a partner in this fight.” Mr. Merkley said. “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.”

Mr. Merkley tested the waters in the early primary and caucus states, and apparently concluded that it could be tough for him to break through in a race featuring higher-profile candidates and some of the party’s rising stars.

The 62-year-old said he is going to help elect a president and members of Congress that will “live and breath the fight even, or especially, when that means standing up to very powerful opponents.

“I will work to help build coalitions around bold policy solutions and I am going work to fix our broken and dysfunctional Senate so it just isn’t a graveyard for good ideas,” Mr. Merkley said.