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Bullock becomes 3rd gov to drop presidential campaign

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana Gov. Steve Bullock ended his Democratic presidential campaign Monday, becoming the third Western governor boasting executive experience and a Washington-outsider appeal to flame out in the contest.

The campaigns of Bullock, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper failed to gain momentum in a D.C.-centric race in which former Vice President Joe Biden and Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren dominated the polls for most of the past few months.

Bullock, a 53-year-old two-term governor and former attorney general, had the textbook resume for primary success in past presidential elections. He’s a former labor lawyer and a gun owner whose governing record included expanding Medicaid in a red state. He touted across-the-aisle appeal, arguing he was the best bet to defeat President Donald Trump because he was the only Democratic candidate to win in a state that Trump won in 2016.

But instead of following Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush on the path from the governor’s mansion to the White House, Bullock sputtered. The crowded 2020 race has centered on national debates around Trump and impeachment, and the Democratic National Committee imposed tougher polling and fundraising thresholds to make the debate stage. Those thresholds favored those with national name recognition and established online networks, making it tough for Bullock and other newcomers to the national scene to get a toehold.

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