Governors still in the shadows amid Democrats' 2020 campaign

Democratic Presidential candidate Washington Gov. Jay Inslee speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations, Wednesday, June 5, 2019 in New York. (AP Phot

Democratic Presidential candidate Washington Gov. Jay Inslee speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations, Wednesday, June 5, 2019 in New York. (AP Phot

Democratic presidential candidate Steve Bullock speaks during the Iowa Democratic Party's Hall of Fame Celebration, Sunday, June 9, 2019, in Cedar Rap

Democratic presidential candidate Steve Bullock speaks during the Iowa Democratic Party's Hall of Fame Celebration, Sunday, June 9, 2019, in Cedar Rap

Former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper speaks during a media availability at the National Press Club, Thursday, June 13, 2019, in Washington. (AP

Former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper speaks during a media availability at the National Press Club, Thursday, June 13, 2019, in Washington. (AP

Three governors are scrambling for any spotlight they can find in a 2020 Democratic presidential campaign dominated by former Vice President Joe Biden and a group of nationally known senators.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock failed to qualify for the first debates coming up in late June. Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee will be debating but have yet to find real traction.

It's a stark turn from presidential politics in the late 20th century, when four out of five presidents were former governors. Yet former President Barack Obama was a freshman senator first, and President Donald Trump never held public office before.

Their elections have rewritten the rules, and some political observers say the executive experience of a governor doesn't matter as much in a hyperpartisan era.