WASHINGTON (AP) _ Jesse Jackson said today he believes he can help minorities and the poor more by jump-starting private investment in their businesses than by making a third run for the White House in 2000.

``I've got so much work to do. I've got so many issues I want to raise. I've got so many battles left to fight,'' Jackson said in a statement on the campaign Web site of his son, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill. ``I simply believe that I can most effectively advance that work, those issues and these battles outside the context of a presidential campaign.''

His decision leaves Vice President Al Gore facing a nomination challenge only from former Sen. Bradley of New Jersey.

Jackson said he decided not to seek the presidency because he would rather devote his full attention to his campaign to pressure Wall Street into providing more startup capital in beleaguered areas.

Jackson is said by those close to him to be enthusiastic about the progress his Wall Street project has made and does not want to see a presidential campaign sap energy, funds and good will from those efforts.

Jackson was to speak to supporters in further detail about his decision at a news conference and luncheon speech today in Chicago.