Former U.S. attorney general Eric Holder during a rally for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Nov. 2, 2018. Credit: Alyssa Pointer | Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP

WASHINGTON — After months of deliberation, former attorney general Eric Holder said Monday that he will not join the crowded and still-growing Democratic presidential field.

“Though I will not run for president in 2020, I will continue to fight for the future of our country,” Holder said in a Washington Post OpEd in which he said Democrats “have a host of good options” for candidates to take on President Donald Trump.

Holder, who served in the Obama administration and was the first African American to hold the post of attorney general, had repeatedly said that he was seriously considering a White House bid of his own.

Buzz about a possible candidacy grew in June when he spoke at a “Politics and Eggs” breakfast in New Hampshire that is considered a rite of passage for potential presidential candidates.

Holder traveled the country extensively as chairman of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, a group that has sought to combat gerrymandering that benefits Republicans in state and local races.

In his OpEd, Holder said he would continue that work.

“With state legislatures set to begin drawing new voting districts in 2021, what happens in those races over the next two years will shape the next decade of our politics,” he wrote.

As of Friday morning, 14 other Democrats had announced White House bids of exploratory committees. The latest was former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper, who launched his bid with a video.

In his OpEd Holder, laid out several criteria that he said Democrats should use to pick their 2020 presidential nominee.

“Does this person have a clear vision for the nation that meets the challenges of today and the uncertainties of the future? Is this a candidate of integrity whose honesty will help rebuild trust in our institutions? Does the person have the capacity — both mental and physical — to handle the rigors of the Oval Office? Does the candidate have the experience to revitalize a federal government that has been mismanaged at home and diminished abroad? Will this person have the ability to inspire the American people and bring us together?”