Pete Buttigieg’s history-making run in the presidential race has come to an end
Pete Buttigieg, the first-ever openly gay major presidential candidate, has announced he is ending his campaign for the White House.
The former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Buttigieg made an ambitious run for the Democratic nomination to take on Donald Trump.
He drops out of the race the day before Super Tuesday, the biggest voting day of the primary and a key day in the Democratic race when 15 states vote for their choice of candidate.
Buttigieg won the Iowa caucuses and did well in New Hampshire and Nevada, but suffered an overwhelming loss in South Carolina on Saturday.
His poor performance among Black Democrats in the state signalled his inability to build a broad coalition with voters, according to the New York Times.
After cancelling plans for a Sunday night rally in Dallas and a Monday morning fundraiser in Austin, Texas, Buttigieg returned to South Bend.
“Sometimes the longest way around really is the shortest way home,’’ he told supporters to loud cheers.
“After a year of going everywhere, meeting everyone, defying every expectation, seeking every vote, the truth is that the path has narrowed to a close, for our candidacy if not for our cause,” he said.
Buttigieg added: “Tonight I am making the difficult decision to suspend my campaign for the presidency.”
“Our goal has always been to help unify Americans to defeat Donald Trump and to win the era for our values,” he said.
“And so we must recognise that 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.”
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Thank you for inviting me into your homes, sharing your stories, and putting your trust in me. We launched our campaign because Americans are hungry for a new kind of politics that brings us together.
And together we'll beat this president and build the era that must come next. pic.twitter.com/QDajvx1lpL
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) March 2, 2020
Pete Buttigieg rose from near-obscurity as the mayor of a small-city town to become one of the frontrunners in the Democratic race.
He and his husband, Chasten, often appeared together at campaign events, attracting positive and negative attention from the LBGT+ community as well as ire from right-wing commentators.
With Buttigieg out of the race, Bernie Sanders remains a strong contender with Joe Biden moving to challenge him after a strong performance over the weekend.
Biden and Buttigieg reportedly spoke on the phone yesterday, with Biden asking for Buttigieg’s support.
Buttigieg said he would consider the request and told his aides he would sleep on the decision.