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Washington Governor Jay Inslee, who championed progressive policies such as gun control and climate change action, announced on Monday that he will not seek a fourth term in office.

The 72-year-old Democrat was first elected in 2012 and became the second governor of Washington to be elected to three consecutive terms. Inslee's decision not to run for re-election opens the door for younger members of the Democratic party, including Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who has gained national prominence by challenging the policies of former President Donald Trump.

In his announcement, Inslee reflected on his accomplishments as governor, citing a carbon cap-and-trade system and a trio of gun violence prevention measures he signed into law last month, including a ban on semi-automatic assault rifles that has already faced legal challenges. The governor also highlighted his efforts to protect gay rights and abortion access, and his work to address the state's homelessness crisis and expand behavioral health services. Inslee pledged to continue this work before his term expires.

Inslee's decision not to seek re-election could mark the end of an era in Washington politics, as younger, more progressive leaders emerge to carry on his legacy.

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