Today, Democratic Presidential Candidate and U.S. Rep. Phil Phillips has announced that he will not be running for reelection in his congressional seat in 2020.
Rep. Phillips, who has served in the House of Representatives for 15 years, told supporters that he felt his time could be better spent focusing on the 2020 presidential election.
“This election is too important to put my own ambitions or office quest ahead of the need to get the best possible candidate to win,” Phillips said in a statement. “I cannot in good conscience continue to struggle for my own electoral success when my heart and my head tell me that I could do more good for the cause by focusing elsewhere.”
Phillips has been an outspoken critic of the administration of President Donald Trump, calling out the president’s “reckless and irresponsible” policies. He has also been a vocal advocate for women’s rights, education reform, criminal justice reform and the fight against climate change.
In his statement, Phillips praised the Democratic party for its values and said he was proud to have been part of the progressive movement for a better tomorrow.
“The Democratic Party has embraced the values of inclusion, equity, justice and opportunity—the very values that I have championed in my political career,” he said. “It is with the knowledge that these values are now in our party’s mainstream that I can look to the future with great optimism.”
Phillips’s seat is expected to remain in Democratic hands, as no Republican has yet stepped forward to challenge for the district. However, with the 2020 elections quickly approaching, the race for the seat in Washington will be one to watch.
In the meantime, Phillips is expected to focus his energy and attention on the presidential race, and is expected to soon move from the House of Representatives to the campaign trail.