Saying that “the path has narrowed to a close,” former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg announced Sunday night that he is suspending his 2020 presidential campaign.
“At this point in the race, the best way to keep faith with those goals and ideals is to step aside and help bring our party and our country together,” Buttigieg told supporters is his hometown of South Bend. “So tonight I am making the difficult decision to suspend my campaign for the presidency.”
“I will no longer seek to be the 2020 Democratic nominee for president, but I will do everything in my power to ensure that we have a new Democratic president come January,” he said.
The suspension of the campaign brings to a close an historic bid by the first openly gay man to launch a major bid for the presidency.
“We sent a message to every kid out there wondering if whatever marks them out as different means they are somehow destined to be less than, to see that someone who once felt that exact same way can become a leading American presidential candidate with his husband at his side,” he said.
In the final weeks of his campaign, Buttigieg had a clear target amongst his competition: Sen. Bernie Sanders. He spoke against Sanders’ calls for an “ideological revolution” and his attempt at a complete overhaul of the American health care system. In his speech Sunday tonight, Buttigieg again alluded to the threat of a Sanders nomination.
“We need leadership to heal a divided nation, not drive us further apart. We need a broad-based agenda that can truly deliver for the American people, not one that gets lost in ideology. We need an approach strong enough not only to win the White House but to hold the House, win the Senate, and send Mitch McConnell into retirement,” he said.
Buttigieg, who was once a long-shot in a crowded field of candidates, became a household name during the Democratic primary and would eventually go one to fare well in the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary before his momentum was slowed during contests in the more diverse states of Nevada and South Carolina.
When he announced his exploratory committee in January 2019, voters didn’t know him or his policy positions, and could not pronounce his last name.
“Boot Edge Edge” became a pronouncer of sorts, plastered across campaign merchandise and even adorned across an entire wall at his campaign headquarters.
At 38 years old, he was a millennial and the youngest candidate in the field. Buttigieg leaned on his youth, hoping to bring about a new generation of leadership in Washington, D.C., and ran on a message of unifying the country in a post-Donald Trump presidency.
He’d begin his town halls asking voters to visualize the day the sun comes up over America and Trump was no longer president.
You can read the rest of Justin Gomez’s article at ABCnews.com